Can I nullify my current divorce filing and refile to save on unnecessary paperwork and expedite the process?

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2010

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Can I nullify my current divorce filing and refile to save on unnecessary paperwork and expedite the process?

My husband asked a friend who is a lawyer but not a divorce attorney to help him with our uncontested divorce. Neither of us realized that if he simply didn’t respond to the divorce papers I served him, we would have been divorced free and clear in 6 months. Now, we are faced with filling out a ton of paperwork and playing the waiting game for each step, which neither of us wants to do. Would it be easier to nullify the current divorce papers and have him serve me and in turn I would not respond within the 30 days or would that make things worse?

Asked on December 9, 2010 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

So what you wanted was an uncontested divorce and you ended up with a contested divorce.  Although I am not familiar with California procedure, what you can probably do is file a stipulation of discontinuance on the action you have already filed.  It is a voluntary discontinuance so there is nothing else you need to file except it needs to be served on your husband.   Then your husband could probably file for divorce as the petitioner instead of you and serve you with the papers or you can file an Acknowledgement of Receipt.  Do you have an agreement already worked out?  Then you can then fail to answer and have a default entered and then file the marital agreement.  However, it is my understanding that you must file the financial disclosure documents no matter what under California law.  Good luck. 

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