If my husband is in the military and didn’t respond to my petition, if he is currently stateside but deploys in a few months, can I enter a default?

We have been separated for awhile and were going to postpone the paperwork until he returned from his upcoming deployment but I want this done. He was served and the 30 days has passed, what do I do now. Should I enter default? What are my options?

Asked on August 29, 2011 California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should go back to court and show he has defaulted on the notice of petition for divorce and have the divorce finalized. You will have to send him the final divorce decree I am sure, but a final decree will be in your hands at least. Since California is a community property state, I assume you have already figured out the accounting in terms of your future claims to his retirement benefits and pensions and figured out any continuing insurance coverage (medical, health, dental). The only issue arising out of this is if he appeals within the allotted time due to any disagreements he may have as a result of the default. He would really at that point have to show why the default should be set aside and the matter adjudicated from the beginning, but this is going to be an uphill battle for him should he choose to do so.

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