Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. Today, we are going to talk about the additional court forms you need to submit to the court along with your assembled divorce judgment. There is a lot of information and so we need two videos to cover this topic.
Christina: After you have your divorce judgment assembled, meaning the FL-180 and all the attachments, you will still need more court forms before you can submit your proposed judgment to the court. These additional court forms are not attached to your judgment but are submitted to the court clerk at the same time you submit your judgment.
Ed: The additional forms you will need will depend on how you elect to process your judgment. There are four different ways you can process a divorce judgment. You can have an “uncontested case with an agreement”. You can have a “default with an agreement case”. You can have a true default case. You can have a contested case. A lot of the additional court forms you will need to submit with your divorce judgment are going to be the same, regardless of whether it’s an uncontested case, a default with an agreement case, a true default case, or a contested case. For example, no matter what type of case you have, you are going to need to submit with your judgment a form called a “Notice of Entry of Judgment”, which is FL-190. You fill out this form the same, regardless of what type of case you have. We will discuss the FL-190 in the next video.
Now some of the additional court forms you will submit with your divorce judgment will be the same regardless of the type of case you have, but you fill them out differently, depending on the type of case you have. For example, there is a form called a “Declaration For Default Or Uncontested Dissolution” which is FL-170, that is filed along with your divorce judgment, but you fill it out differently depending on the type of case you have. We will discuss the FL-170 in the next video.
Then, there are some forms that are only submitted with certain types of cases. For example, there is a form called “Appearance, Stipulations And Waiver”, which is FL-130. You only need this form if you have an uncontested case. If you have any kind of default case or a contested case, you don’t need the FL-130. We will discuss the FL-130 later on in this video.
Christina: In this video and the next video, we are going to talk about the various court forms you need to submit to the court along with your divorce judgment. We will go through each form separately. However, before we get to the individual forms, we need to talk about procedural differences depending on the type of judgment you are processing. We are going to start with procedures unique to uncontested cases. Then, we are going to cover procedures unique to “default with an agreement” cases. We are not going to talk about the unique procedures for “true default” cases or “contested” cases because we cover procedural matters for those types of cases in separate videos.
Christina: Ed, let’s start with the procedures for submitting a divorce judgment that is unique to uncontested cases, which some people also refer to as non-default cases with agreements.
Ed: For purposes of the following discussion, I am assuming you have an uncontested case, where you and your spouse were able to agree on all issues and you have reduced that agreement to writing. I am assuming you have drafted your FL-180 judgment and assembled your judgment by attaching either a Marital Settlement Agreement or the collection of Judicial Council forms that we talked about in earlier videos. I am going to be referring to these types of cases as “uncontested cases”. I am not talking about “default with an agreement” cases. I will talk about “default with an agreement” cases a bit later in this video.
In an uncontested case, where nobody’s default is being taken, the Respondent has to make an “appearance” in the action. Remember, whichever party filed the divorce petition is the “Petitioner” and the other spouse is called the “Respondent”. To get the court to process the divorce judgment in an uncontested case, the Respondent must first “appear” in the action.
Christina: What does it mean for the Respondent to “appear” in the action and how is that done?
Ed: Making an “appearance in the action” means you submit to the jurisdiction of the court. The Respondent can make an appearance in the action in one of two ways. One way is for the Respondent to file his or her Response form with the court. The Response form is FL-120. You may recall that the FL-120 Response form is a 3-page form that looks very much like the divorce petition. Your spouse may or may not have filed his or her FL-120 Response with the court after they were served with the Summons and Petition. If the Respondent has already filed his or her FL-120 with the court, then Respondent has already made an “appearance in the action”. If the Respondent has not already filed his or her FL-120 with the court, then they can make an “appearance in the action” by filing a court form called, “Appearance, Stipulations And Waivers”, which is FL-130.
Christina: Ed, would you explain how the Appearance, Stipulations, And Waiver FL-130 form works?
Ed: First, I want to repeat that you only need the FL-130 if you have an uncontested case. If you are processing your divorce judgment as a “default with an agreement” or as a “true default”, you can skip the FL-130. However, if you are processing your judgment as an uncontested case, then you must fill out the “Appearance, Stipulations, And Waivers” form, even if the Respondent has filed his or her Response, FL-120, with the court.
Christina: Is the FL-130 form in our Court Forms Database?
Ed: Yes. You can find a blank FL-130 in our database. The FL-130 is a one-page form. Pull up the FL-130 from our database and check the appropriate boxes. If you purchased our “Judgment” video package, one of those videos will walk you through how to fill out the FL-130.
After you have filled out the FL-130, print it. You and your spouse will each date and sign it. Then, set the form aside. The FL-130 will be filed with the court clerk when you file your divorce judgment.
When either Petitioner or Respondent makes an “appearance” in the divorce action, they have to pay their “first paper” filing fee. The only exception is when one or both parties qualify for a fee waiver. The amount of the first paper filing fee keeps going up. Currently, the fee is $435 per person. If the Respondent has already filed his FL-120 Response, he or she has already paid his first paper filing fee. If the Respondent has not already filed the FL-120 with the court, so that the Respondent will be making his or her “appearance” when the “Appearance, Stipulations, And Waivers” FL-130 form is filed with the court clerk, then the Respondent’s first paper filing fee will need to be paid when the FL-130 is filed.
Christina: What if the Respondent wants to avoid paying his or her first paper filing fee?
Ed: One option is to see if the Respondent qualifies for a fee waiver. Respondent can fill out a fee waiver application, which is FW-001. Respondent can watch our free Fee Waiver video to learn how to fill out the fee waiver application. The other option is to process your divorce judgment as a “default with an agreement case”.
Christina: How does a “default with an agreement” casework?
Ed: If Respondent has already filed his or her Response, which is FL-120, has qualified for a fee waiver, or is willing to fill out the FL-130 and pay his or her “first paper” filing fee, then you don’t need to hassle with the default paperwork I’m going to describe in a minute. You can simply take your assembled divorce judgment, together with the additional court forms described in the next video, and file everything with the court. You can skip the entire default procedure that I am about to describe.
Christina: Before you describe how to process a “default with an agreement case”, can you remind us what the difference is between a “default with an agreement case” and a “true default” case?
Ed: When it comes to default cases, we need to make a distinction between a “true default” case and a “default with an agreement” case.
A “true default” is when your spouse is not cooperating with you and you can’t get them to agree to a settlement or even respond to the divorce Petition. You had your spouse served with the Summons, Petition, and blank Response, and your spouse ignored it all. Your spouse refused to negotiate with you and your spouse refused or failed to file a Response with the court within 30 days of the date they were served with the Summons, Petition, and a blank Response. If you are dealing with a “true default”, you need to watch later videos that discuss “True defaults” cases.
A “default with an agreement” case is a situation where you have been able to reach an agreement with your spouse on all issues. Your spouse is cooperating with the divorce process. Your spouse has not made an “appearance” in the divorce action by filing an FL-120 Response form with the court and you are going to process the judgment as a default for the sole purpose of saving the “first paper” filing fee that your spouse would have to pay if he or she made an “appearance” in the action.
Many times, your spouse won’t qualify for a fee waiver and will not want to pay the “first paper” filing fee that will be due to the court if he or she makes an “appearance” in the action. To avoid this fee, the divorce judgment can be processed as a “default with an agreement” case.
Christina: Walk us through the “default with an agreement” process.
Ed: O.K. I’m assuming you have already filed your Summons (FL-110) and your Petition (FL-100). I’m also assuming you have already had your spouse “served with the process” either by having someone hand him or her the Summons, Petition, and blank Response or by using the “Notice And Acknowledgment Of Receipt” (FL-117) procedure described in the “Service of Process” videos. You have already filed your “Proof of Service of Summons” (FL-115) with the court.
In order to take your spouse’s default to save the “first paper” filing fee, you must wait at least 30 days from the date your spouse was “served with the process”. This means you have to wait 30 days from the date your spouse received the Summons and Petition or wait 30 days from the date he or she signed the FL-117. After the 30 days have elapsed, you can apply to enter his or her default.
Christina: How do you apply to enter your spouse’s default?
Ed: You fill out a form called, “Request To Enter Default”, which is FL-165. You can find the FL-165 in our Court Forms Database. Our database contains two completed versions of the FL-165. One is of the completed versions is for a “Default With An Agreement case” and the other completed version is for a “True Default case”. Pull up the blank FL-165 and fill it out. It is a two-page form and easy to fill out.
After you have filled out the FL-165, prepare an envelope addressed to your spouse. Put postage on the envelope. The return address on the envelope should be the address for the clerk of the court, and by that, I mean the address of the court where you filed your divorce petition. Make two copies of the FL-165. Then, staple the envelope to one of the copies of the completed FL-165. If you wish, you can take the completed FL-165 to the court and file it at this time. The court clerk will enter your spouse’s default and mail a copy of the “Request To Enter Default” to your spouse, using the envelope you have provided. You can file the FL-165 at this time or you can hold on to the “Request To Enter Default” and file it at the same time you file your Judgment of Dissolution. If you hold the “Request To Enter Default” until you file the judgment, it will save you a trip to the court.
Christina: In the next video, We are going over, one by one, each of the additional court forms that you are going to need to submit to the court clerk when you file your divorce judgment.