Your divorce judgment has been rejected. So what should you do now?
You spent many hours going over all of the necessary forms for finalizing your divorce. You have conducted research online, read a DIY divorce book and perhaps even met with a few attorneys. You finally were able to convince your spouse to sign and get her/his signature notarized (a massive feat on its own). You have your self-addressed stamped envelopes ready, made copies of the Judgement, and drove across town over to the courthouse, stood in line, and submitted all of the necessary paperwork. Then in a couple of days or weeks, you get a letter from the court. Your Judgment is not inside - it a letter that says "rejecting your judgment" from the court. Does that sound familiar to you? If so, you are not the only one, since we meet hundreds of individuals every year who need assistance with completing their divorces.
We have compiled many of the top reasons why your divorce judgment may be rejected and some tips on what you can about the situation!
No Proof of Service: The Divorce Petition and Summons need to be filed and served. Also, a Proof of Service is required to be filled in and filed. For most people, the best option is having the Summons and Petition personally served by a person who is at least 18 years old and who is no associated with the action. Or someone else can 'serve" (deliver) the Petition for you by mail to have your spouse sign the Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt (NAOR). FL-115 also needs to be filed and file the NAOR if it was signed as well.
Not Using an Optional Form: Although the forms might say optional, however, unless your Marital Settlement Agreement or Stipulated Judgment is absolutely perfect, you will nd to submit these forms. FL-343, FL-342, and FL-341, and FL-345 are the most important ones.
No Postage and Copies: You are required to bring two copies with you (the original and one duplicate), self-addressed stamped envelopes, along with a sufficient amount of postage for each of your envelopes. You are going to need two envelopes - one should be addressed to the Respondent and the other one to the Petitioner.
Judgment Exceeds Requests in Petition: You cannot request an 'order' exceeding the request that was made in your Petition if your Judgment was by default (a response was not filed by the other party and you are not submitting a written agreement with your Judgment to the court). For example, if on your Petition you checked the box that you wanted the jurisdiction to be reserved by the court over spousal support (which allows the court to order support later on), but also checked the box on your Judgment for terminating support (so the court can never order support), then most likely your Judgment will be rejected.
Not Enough Information: When you ask the court to make orders for spousal support or child support, you must explain what you based the number on (even if you and your spouse have an agreement). Even when you are not asking for support orders, you will still need to explain why not to the court. For example, if you make $12,000 per month, and your spouse makes $2,000, the Court will want to know why you are not planning to pay spousal support. Perhaps your marriage was really short. Maybe your spouse is living with her/his rich parents and pay for all of their bills. Perhaps your spouse inherited one million dollars recently. Tell the story no matter what.One good way to make sure that you have completed all of the required forms, check out this Judgement checklist. Another way of avoiding all of the frustration that comes with getting a rejected judgment is meeting with one of our experienced legal coaches before making your submission.