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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default California Spouse Won't Serve Declarations

    I am petitioner, wife is respondent. She is from India and we were together only 6 months and have been separated for two years. There is no chance of reconciliation and we agreed to divorce. However, now wife is uncooperative (surprise, surprise!!!???)

    I served the required disclosures on wife. But, wife will not serve disclosures until I pay money she thinks I owe her. She is not US native and does not understand this should be part of the SA, not to be negotiated before she makes required disclosures.

    She doesn't understand, she disagrees but does not have attorney (uses a legal clinic), and will not serve disclosures. What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: California Spouse Won't Serve Declarations

    What sort of "legal clinic" is this, which has no attorneys?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Horse Capital of the World, FL

    Default Re: California Spouse Won't Serve Declarations

    What type of declarations have you served her with? Are they the preliminary disclosures?Have you actually filed a petition for dissolutionment with the courthouse? Typically, courts only allow a certain number of days for the respondent party to answer (in FL it is 20 days). If no response is received in the courthouse, the petitioner can file for a default hearing on the 21st day. Have you checked with your courthouse to see if she has any type of timeframe to respond? Have you considered going thru a mediator/arbitrator/etc. You may want to speak with an attorney about your options.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: California Spouse Won't Serve Declarations

    Hi Cbent2005,

    Thanks for your responses. Yes, I filed the petition and the wife filed a response. It seems to me that once she appeared, default was no longer an option. I served the preliminary disclosures and it is she who now refuses to serve her preliminary disclosures until I cough up money she claims that I owe to her.

    I am more that happy to consider her money claim but only as part of the Settlement Agreement (SA). However, she doesn't see things this way and won't serve her disclosures before getting this money. She does not see that this approach is counter productive to completing the divorce and doesn't comprehend that the money she seeks in more appropriately dealt as part of the SA. I am not trying to cheat her - it is a very small amount of money but I want it done right.

    Aaron: she only goes to the legal clinics for help completing the forms, they do not represent her. She used one legal clinic to prepare her response and a different one to prepare her prelim declarations. It is obvious to me in my conversations with her that she isnít getting good advise. While she claims to have an attorney she flatly refuses to have the attorney contact me or let me speak with her attorney. This, and other comments and demands she is making, leaves me fairly confident the advise she is getting is from non-attorney friends.

    Iíll try mediation as Cbent2005 suggest. Frankly, because our time together was so short, there is no community property and there are no children. It should be a simple divorce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: California Spouse Won't Serve Declarations


    I'm in CA and familiar with Dissolutions here.

    You have been married for 2 1/2 years with 2 years living separately, right? Why wait so long to get divorced? It would have been simpler to file right after you and she split up.

    You have filed your OSC and Declaration. Your wife has filed a response. Is she agreeing with the dissolution in her responsive declaration?

    You have filled out an Income & Expense Declaration. She refuses to. She claims you owe her money. Is this for spousal support, for community property or for some other expenditure made during the 6 months you lived together?

    She claims to have an attorney but refuses to let you contact the attorney. Anyone who is represented by counsel is supposed to have that attorney recorded on the paperwork. Your Ex cannot just waltz in to court with an attorney without the court or you being notified. I suggest you go down to the courthouse and look up your case to see if any atty has been substituted in. If one has you write to the atty directly and not your Ex.

    So your next step should be to do the mediation thing. You should make all your communications in writing since your ex is being uncooperative.

    1. Send her (or her atty) a letter with return receipt requesting mediation. If she agrees, go to mediation.

    2. If she agrees to go to mediation, try to work out an agreement. If she either doesn't agree to anything, or refuses to go to mediation then do #3.

    3. The set a date for court. Either you submit a marital agreement that the 2 of you signed or you ask the court to order you divorced. Your Ex will have to bring to court any documentation of the supposed debt you owe her.

    Bird Brain

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