A- Finish a "True Default" Case

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A True Default case is when one spouse or partner filed and served on the other spouse or partner a petition for divorce with a court summons, more than 30 days have passed since service of the Petition and Summons, and:

  • the other spouse or partner did not file a response, and
  • there is no written agreement about the terms of the separation.

NOTE: You may not need all of these forms. Or you may need more forms. If you're not sure which forms to use, talk to your Family Law Facilitator Opens new window or a lawyer. 

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For help finding local court forms you may need, go to your county's court website: click here. Opens new window

In this situation, the divorce can be finished by filling out and filing four more forms:

1. Request to Enter Default
30 or more days after one spouse or partner had copies of the Petition and court Summons served on their spouse or partner, they can file:

  • Request to Enter Default (Form FL-165) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
  • A stamped envelope addressed to the spouse or partner is to be provided to the Clerk's Office so that a copy of the Request can be mailed to him or her.


  • A default judgment ends the other spouse's or partner's chance to file a Response.
  • A Judgment may be made based on the Petition (Form FL-100)
  • As explained earlier, the court will need to see that a Declaration of Disclosure with an Income and Expense (Form FL-150) and a Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142) OR a Property Declaration (Form FL-160) have been served.
  • As explained earlier, a Declaration Regarding Service of Disclosure (Form FL-141) must have been filed.

2. Declaration for Default  
Any time after the Request to Enter Default has been filed and served, the petitioner is also to fill out and file with the court:

  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation
    (Form FL-170) Opens new window

    A copy of this form must also be served on the other spouse or partner.

3. Judgment
To complete the divorce process, someone has to complete and file with the court:

Attach to the Judgment a copy of the forms that clearly show the specific arrangements regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal or partner support, property division, and anything else requested as part of the judgment. (The pile of attachments may become quite thick.)

  • For the form(s) to attach to the judgment if child custody and visitation orders are being requested, click here.
  • For the forms to attach to the judgment if child, spousal or partner support is being requested, click here.
  • For the form(s) to attach to the judgment if there is separate property or debt, or community property or debt, to divide, click here.
NOTE: If child support is assigned to the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) for collection, the judgment MUST include the signature of the DCSS attorney before it is submitted to the court.

4. Notice of Entry of Judgment
With the Judgment (Form FL-180), also file:

Mail or take the completed Judgment form and all attachments, with two copies of everything, to the Clerk's Office for processing.

  • You will need to give the clerk two large, stamped envelopes, addressed to each of the spouses or partners.

The divorce is final when the judge signs the Judgment (Form FL-180)

  • A court clerk will mail the "Notice of Entry of Judgment" to each spouse or partner, with the date that the judgment was filed stamped in the upper right corner.
  • It is important that copies of this Judgment (Form FL-180) and the Notice (Form FL-190) are kept in a safe place. They may be needed in the future

ALERT! When your Judgment is signed there is paperwork to do right away. To lean how to do this, please go to After You Get Your Judgment.

If you have to go to court, please go to Step 7: If You Have a Hearing.


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