Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. Today, we are going to talk about the additional court forms and the additional procedures you need to follow if you are processing a true default case instead of an uncontested case.
Ed: For purposes of this video, we are assuming you have already completed certain court forms and taken certain steps. We are assuming you have filed with the court your Summons; your Petition, and, if you have minor children, your UCCJEA Declaration. We are further assuming you have served your spouse with said papers, including a blank Response, which is FL-120. We are also assuming at least 30 days have passed since your spouse was served and your spouse has failed to file his or her FL-120 Response with the court. It is now time to take your spouse’s default.
Ed: Christina, how do you take your spouse’s default if they fail to file a Response within the 30 day time period?
Christina: First, you need to file your “Proof of Service of Summons”, FL-115, before you can take your spouse’s default. After you have filed your Proof of Service of Summons, you will then need to fill out and file with the court a “Request to Enter Default”, which is FL-165. You can find the FL-165 in our court forms database. In our database, you will find a blank FL-165 that you can fill out and print. You will also find two completed versions of the FL-165. You want to look at the completed version of the FL-165 that is entitled, “True Default Version”.
Ed: Do I fill out the FL-165 differently for a true default case, as opposed to a “default with an agreement” case?
Christina: Yes. When you have a true default case, you will need to attach to the FL-165 a copy of your Income & Expense Declaration, which FL-150. You are going to have to fill out your Income & Expense Declaration as part of your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure documents. Again, if you want more information about filling out the FL-150, watch our videos on the Declaration of Disclosures.
Ed: Do I need to attach other documents to my FL-165 besides my Income and Expense Declaration?
Christina: Yes. You will also need to also attach to your FL-165 a form entitled, “Property Declaration”, which is FL-160. In our Court Forms Database, you will find both an example of a completed FL-160 and a blank FL- 160 form that you can fill out and print. The FL-160 is very similar to the Schedule of Assets And Debts, which is FL-142, but the form also includes your proposal to the court for the division of your assets and debts. If you or your spouse own separate property or owe separate debts, then you will need to prepare two FL-160 forms, one listing the community property and community debts and then a second FL-160 listing the separate property and separate debts.
Ed: What do I do after I have filled out my FL-165 and attached a copy of my Income and Expense Declaration, FL-150, and a copy of my Property Declaration, FL-160?
Christina: Make two copies. Get a large, 9” by 12” envelope addressed to your spouse and the court clerk’s address listed as the return address. Put enough postage on the envelope so the court clerk can mail one of the copies of your FL-165, with all attachments, to your spouse. Then, go to the court to file your FL-165.
When you file your FL-165 with the court clerk, the clerk will enter your spouse’s default. The court clerk will make a note in the court’s file that your spouse’s default has been entered. This does not mean you have your divorce judgment. It merely means you can now process a proposed divorce judgment as a default judgment.
Ed: After the court clerk has entered my spouse’s default, what do I do next?
Christina: You now have to prepare and serve your spouse with your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure forms consisting of the Declaration of Disclosure cover sheet, which is FL-140, your Property Declaration, which is FL-160, your Income & Expense Declaration, which is FL-150, and your Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure And Income And Expense Declaration, which is FL-141. In our earlier “Declaration of Disclosure” video, we went over this Declaration of the Disclosure form. However, the Declaration of Disclosure forms is completed a little differently when you are processing a true default case. In regards to your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure, usually, it includes a Schedule of Assets and Debts, which is FL-142, but in true default cases, you can use your completed FL-160 form as a substitute for the Schedule of Assets & Debts.
Ed: After I have filled out my Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure forms, what do I do?
Christina: After you have completed your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure documents, serve copies on your spouse. You then need to draft a proposed Judgment of Dissolution, which is FL-180. Watch our earlier videos on how to draft and assemble a divorce “Judgment”. As we previously mentioned, you will be using the collection of Judicial Council forms to set forth the provisions in your judgment about how assets and debts are to be divided, to set forth child custody orders, child support orders, and spousal support orders. As we previously mentioned, before you attempt to draft your Judgment, watch our earlier “Getting Educated” videos.
Ed: What Judicial Council forms am I going to need to attach to my FL-180 Judgment form?
Christina: You will need to attach to your FL-180 the following: The Property Order Attachment To Judgment, which is FL-345, and the Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment, which is FL-343. If you have minor children, then you will also need to attach the following forms: You will need to attach the Child Custody And Visitation (Parenting Time) Order Attachment, which is FL-341, and any of the additional child custody related forms you may have elected to include such as FL- 341(A), FL-341(B), FL-341(C), 341(D) and/or FL-341(E).
If you want child support orders, then you will need to attach to your FL-180 the Child Support Information Order Attachment, which is FL-342, together with your guideline child support calculation printout, and if you go with a non-guideline child support amount, then you will also need to attach the FL-342(A) form. If your divorce judgment is going to include child support provisions, you will also need to attach to the FL-180, the Notice of Rights And Responsibilities, and the Information Sheet On Changing A Child Support Order, which is FL-192.
You will not need the “Stipulation For Entry of Judgment” form because your spouse is not stipulating a judgment. Again, in earlier videos on how to draft your divorce judgment, we went over all of these court forms. You can find all of these forms in our Court Forms Database.
Ed: After I have drafted my divorce judgment, what additional Court Forms are I going to need to fill out and submit with my divorce judgment when I file my proposed divorce judgment with the court clerk?
Christina: After you have drafted your proposed divorce Judgment, FL-180, you will need to fill out the Declaration For Default Or Uncontested Dissolution, which is FL-170. When you go to our Court Forms Database, you will find both a completed FL-170 and a blank FL-170 form that you can fill out and print. There are three completed versions of the FL-170 in our database. When you find the completed versions of the FL-170 in the database, look at the completed version for “true default cases”.
Ed: Do I need to attach any court forms to my FL-170?
Christina: If your proposed judgment of dissolution awards you spousal support, or if it terminates your spouse’s rights to receive spousal support, or if you were married for ten years or longer, then you will also be required to attach to your FL-170 a form called, “Spousal Or Partner Support Declaration Attachment”, which is FL-157. If you go to our Court Forms Database, you will find both a completed FL-157 and a blank FL-157 form that you can fill out and print.
Ed: What if I want my divorce judgment to include an award of attorney’s fees?
Christina: A court can order your spouse to pay all or part of any attorney fees and court costs you have incurred. If you are doing the divorce yourself, you will probably not have any attorney fees and will not need to ask for an attorney fee award. However, if you have incurred some fees consulting with an attorney, then you may want the judgment of dissolution to award you attorney fees.
You don’t get an award of fees just because you ask for fees. You have to fill out various court forms to demonstrate, from a financial standpoint, that you have a need for an award of fees and that your spouse has the ability to pay the fee award. An award of fees must be reasonable in amount.
If you want the true default judgment to award you attorney fees, then you will need to complete the following additional forms: The first form is the “Request for Attorney Fees and Costs”, which is FL-319. When you are done with the FL-319, attach it to your FL-170. You will also need to fill out the “Supporting Declaration for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Attachment”, which is FL-158. Attach the completed FL-158 to your FL-170. If you have not already done so in connection with your request for an award of spousal support, you will also need to complete the “Spousal Or Partner Support Declaration Attachment”, which is FL-157. Attach your FL-157 to your FL-170. You will also need to file your Income And Expense Declaration (FL-150) with the court. All of these forms can be found in our free Court Forms Database. You will find not only blank versions of the forms in our database but also completed versions that you can look at as samples of completed forms.
Ed: Let’s assume I have drafted and assembled my FL-180 divorce judgment, including all attachments, and I have completed my FL-170, including all attachments, what other forms do I need to submit to the court along with my divorce judgment?
Christina: You will also need the Notice of Entry of Judgment (FL-190), which can be found in our Court Forms Database. If you have minor children, you will also need the Income Withholding for Support (FL-195), which can be found in our Court Forms Database. Again, all of these forms are discussed in our earlier videos dealing with how to draft, assemble, and file a divorce “Judgment”. Watch those videos.
Ed: After I have all of my forms ready to go, what do I do?
Christina: Watch our earlier video on taking your divorce Judgment to court for filing. Then, watch our video on what to do after you receive your judgment of back from the court.