Divorce isn’t always a mutually agreed-upon decision. In some cases, one spouse may decide to get a divorce without the other partner’s agreement, which can result in a very complicated situation. While one partner may be tempted to refuse the divorce, the state of California has laws in place to handle this exact situation. Although it might seem like agreeing to a divorce is the worst thing in the world, the reluctant spouse may actually find accepting it is likely to be the best option. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—professionals who are transforming the divorce process with expert San Diego divorce mediation couples rely on for customized divorce solutions—offer the following advice about refusing divorce.
How California’s Divorce Process Works
In California, the divorce process begins when one person files a petition with the court for the dissolution of his or her marriage. The process then moves on to a summons being provided to the other partner. In most cases, the other spouse must respond to the summons within 30 days. Ideally, the response is filed, and the two parties move on to the next phase of mediation before they finalize a settlement. However, one spouse may avoid the summons and refuse to file a response. When this happens, it can lead to what’s called a default divorce in California.
Understanding a Default Divorce
If the other party doesn’t respond or offers a refusal to the divorce, the petitioning partner has the right to continue on with the process. In this case, he or she needs to take steps such as furnishing information about marital assets and debts to the court. Once the case reaches the court, a judge will make the final decision regarding each part of the divorce settlement. Once the divorce is granted, these decisions are considered to be final, even if one spouse never approved of the divorce.
Reasons to File a Response
In almost every case, it’s better to do something than nothing. Although you may not want to agree to the divorce, refusing or ignoring it takes all the control over what happens out of your hands. Responding to the divorce petition and summons is the only way to make it clear that you’ll look out for your best interests, which could help you maintain your rights regarding child custody and visitation. Putting forward a response could also help you keep assets such as your car or house. Even if you don’t think you have issues to resolve, there may still be some things you don’t know about until you meet with your mediator. For instance, California expects shared debts to be split a certain way to ensure equal responsibility between both spouses.
How to Work Through a Difficult Divorce Agreement
It hurts to go through a divorce you don’t want. However, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Working with a mediator can restore some form of positive communication to your relationship that allows you both to make the best decisions and move forward. Make sure to be open about your disapproval of the divorce, but also try to keep an open mind. Being involved in decisions that affect your life is the only way to plan for a happier future.
All the practical, legal, financial, and psychological aspects of fair, respectful divorce agreements can be managed by Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced, trustworthy San Diego divorce mediators. Couples can rely on our comprehensive process, which is so thorough there won’t be a need for attorneys. To learn how we can help you with every facet of your divorce, call us today at 858-281-2628.