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If you have been served with dissolution papers, take a deep breath. You have thirty days to file a Response. If you fail to file a Response, the Petitioner may seek a Default and have a hearing without you. Since you want to present your side of the story including valuations of assets, custody requests, and information relating to support, you must respond. Upon being served, most individuals are extremely overwhelmed with the changes which are taking place in their lives. It is important that you consult with legal counsel who can explain the process, analyze your particular situation, and provide you expert advice. Contact the Law Office of Anna C. Brace for a free consultation.


Once you have retained The Law Offices of Anna C. Brace, we will set an appointment in the next few days for you to review and execute your Petition. Thereafter, we will see that your Summons and Petition is filed with the Court and served on the Respondent (the other party). We usually call the Respondent and request that he/she come into our office to be served and discuss potential settlement. In most instances, the Respondent will comply, and very often we can quickly negotiate a settlement. However, in the event that the Respondent fails to come into the office, we can serve the Respondent by mail or personally at home or work. Once served, the Respondent has 30 days to file a Response.
It may also be necessary to file an Order To Show Cause to Request For Order to obtain temporary orders for child custody, support, or other orders, and this Order To Show Cause may be served with the Summons and Petition or at a later time.
Once the parties have filed a Petition and Response, the parties may be required to obtain valuations of community assets and conduct discovery. This process can take
between thirty days to a year depending on the complexity of the case. Once the parties have conducted discovery and obtained the necessary valuations, either party can
request a Trial Setting Conference. At a Trial Setting Conference, the parties determine the issues to be tried by the Court, the duration of time needed for trial, and when the party can be prepared to go to trial. The Court will set the matter for a trial and often set a Mandatory Settlement Conference prior to the trial date.

According to California law, a dissolution may not be final for 6 months from the date of service of the Summons and Petition on the Respondent. However, in some cases, a
dissolution may take longer than 6 months to get to trial. In that case, a party can choose to wait until the trial date or in the alternative, file a motion seeking a “status only”
dissolution reserving all other issues of the dissolution to the time of trial.
Contact the Law Offices of Anna C. Brace regarding commencing your dissolution action today.