5 Reasons Your California Divorce Judgment May Have Been Rejected
So, you’ve gone through the arduous process of finalizing your divorce in California, but when you eagerly opened the envelope from the court, you were met with disappointment – a rejection letter for your judgment. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people face this setback, and it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind such rejections to avoid repeating the process. In this article, we’ll explore the top five reasons why divorce judgments in California get rejected and provide helpful tips on how to overcome these hurdles.
No Proof of Service
One of the most common reasons for a divorce judgment rejection is the absence or improper filing of a Proof of Service. Both the summons and the petition must be filed and served properly during the divorce process. Additionally, a Proof of Service form needs to be completed and filed. To prevent this issue, it’s advisable to have someone 18 years or older, who is unrelated to the action, personally serve the petition and summons to your spouse via mail. After the service, ensure that your spouse signs a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt (NAOR) form, and make sure to file FL-115 as well.
Not Using Optional Forms
Although some forms may appear optional, it’s essential to complete them unless you have a Stipulated Judgment or Marital Settlement Agreement that is flawless. Key forms that must be filled out include FL-345, FL-341, FL-342, and FL-343. These forms play a vital role in the divorce process, and neglecting them may lead to judgment rejection.
No Copies and Postage
Submitting the necessary copies and postage is another critical factor for a successful divorce judgment. You must bring two copies of your proposed judgment (one duplicate, plus the original), along with two large self-addressed stamped envelopes – one addressed to the petitioner and the other to the respondent. Neglecting to include these items may result in the court rejecting your judgment.
Judgment Exceeds Requests in the Petition
If your judgment is by default, meaning the other party did not file a response, and you are not submitting a written agreement with your judgment, you cannot request an “order” that exceeds the request you made in your petition. This conflict can happen unintentionally, and it’s vital to review your judgment carefully to ensure consistency with the initial petition.
Not Enough Information
Providing insufficient information can lead to judgment rejection, especially when seeking orders regarding child support or spousal support. Even if both parties agree on the support terms, you must thoroughly explain the basis for the specified amount. Similarly, if you choose not to request support orders, you must clarify the reasons behind your decision. Lack of proper explanation may cause the court to reject your judgment.
Finalizing a divorce in California can be a challenging and lengthy process, and having your judgment rejected only prolongs the wait for closure. Understanding the common reasons for rejection and taking preventive measures can help you avoid unnecessary setbacks. Remember always to include the required forms, provide detailed and accurate information, and ensure that the service and filing of documents are done correctly.
Q1: Can I refile my judgment after it has been rejected? Yes, you can refile your judgment after addressing the issues that caused the rejection. Carefully review the rejection letter and make the necessary corrections before resubmitting.
Q2: Can I file for divorce without a lawyer in California? Yes, you can file for divorce without a lawyer in California. Many people choose to pursue a DIY divorce, but it’s essential to understand the legal procedures and requirements thoroughly.
Q3: How long does it take to get a divorce judgment in California? The time taken to obtain a divorce judgment in California varies based on individual circumstances and the complexity of the case. It can take a few months to over a year, depending on the situation.
Q4: Can I expedite the divorce process to avoid delays? In certain situations, it may be possible to expedite the divorce process, especially if there are pressing issues or extenuating circumstances. Consulting with a lawyer can help you determine if this is a viable option for your case.
Q5: What if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers? If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, the process may become more complicated. You may need to explore legal alternatives and consult with an attorney to navigate through this situation.