Finish your divorce in a default

To finish your divorce or legal separation, you must turn in a set of final forms to the court.  These forms let the court know you've met the required steps to get a default and you want your divorce or legal separation finalized.

They also say if you want the judge to make any orders about spousal support. And, how you want to divide your property, if you have any. 

You can usually finish your divorce without seeing a judge

But, if you're asking for spousal support or something complicated, the judge may set a court date. This is called a default hearing. The judge can make an order about spousal support at the hearing. Once you have an order, you can complete your divorce.

If your spouse is active duty military, 

talk to a lawyer or ask for help at the court's Self-Help Center. There are different rules you need to follow.

How to prepare forms to finish divorce in a default

  • Check you’re ready to submit the default judgment papers

    • It’s been more than 30 days since you served your spouse 
    • Your spouse never filed a response 

    You filed a:  

    • Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115

    • Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141

    The court can’t process your final judgment forms if these aren’t filed. If you haven’t filed them yet, you can file them when you turn in the final forms

  • Fill out form to ask for a default

    You must fill out

    Request to Enter Default (form FL-165)

    This asks the court to enter a default because your spouse didn’t respond. Once filed, the clerk mails it to your spouse. 

    You may need to fill out

    If you need the court to divide community property

    Property Declaration (form FL-160)

    This tells the court about your community property and how you want it divided. If you filed a Property Declaration with your Petition and don’t have any changes, you don’t have to file it again. Check the box on the FL-165 that says there aren’t any changes.


    If you need the court to make orders about spousal support or attorney's fees

    Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150)

    This tells the court about what you’ve earned over the past year and about your monthly expenses.

    If you haven’t filed one yet, fill it out and attach it to the Fl-165. If you filed one of these in the last 90-days and you don’t have any updates, you don’t have to file it again. Check the box on the FL-165 that says there aren’t any changes.


    You can turn in the Request to Enter Default now

     or turn it in with the rest of your forms later. This form makes it so that your spouse can’t file a Response without the court’s permission.


  • Fill out judgment forms

    Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation (form FL-170)

    This form tells the court that you meet the requirements for a default judgment.

    Judgment (form FL-180)

    This is the final court order to get a divorce. If you’re asking the court to make any orders about support or property, you will need to attach more forms to this.

    Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-190)

    The court will mail this form back to you after the judge has signed the judgment. It’s the official notice from the court that your divorce or legal separation is final. If you asked for a divorce, it will state the day your marriage or domestic partnership officially ends.

  • Fill out and attach forms if you need orders


    • If you asked for spousal support

      • Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment (form FL-343

      This tells the court what spousal support orders you want.

      • Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment (form FL-157

      This is optional, but the information in it is what the court needs to decide about long-term support. Without it, the court may not have enough information to make a decision. 

      • Earnings Assignment Order for Spousal or Partner Support (form FL-435)

      This is optional. Submit this form if you want your spouse’s employer to send the support to you directly from your spouse’s pay. 

    • If you asked for a property order

      This tells the court how you want the property divided. 

    There are rules about how you divide property in a default.

    • The court can only divide the property that you listed in your Petition. If you didn’t list it, you’ll need to change (amend) your Petition.

    • In general, the court will only agree to split property relatively evenly.



  • Go over Judgment Checklist

    •  Judgment Checklist - Dissolution/Legal Separation (form FL-182)

    The checklist has all the forms a court may require for you to complete your divorce. Some of these are listed as optional forms. 

    Contact your court clerk’s office, check your court’s website, or talk to your Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center to find out if they require any optional forms and check how many envelopes you need to provide when you turn in your forms.

Finish your divorce

What's next?

Once you're done filling out the judgment forms, you need to prepare envelopes to submit with your forms and bring (or mail) them to the court. 

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