After you have completed your proof of service form(s)
If your case is going to be a “contested divorce” or a “true default divorce”, after you have completed your “Proof of Service of Summons” (FL-115), make two copies and file the original and copies with the court clerk.
If your case is going to be an uncontested divorce or a “default with an agreement” divorce, set the “Proof of Service of Summons” form aside for now. The FL-115 (and the FL-117 if you used the Notice “Acknowledgment of Receipt” method of service), will be filed with the court at the same time you file your divorce judgment.
No need for your spouse to file a Response with the court: After your spouse has been served with the Summons and Petition, if the two of you are going to be able to work together and reach a negotiated settlement on all issues, then your case can proceed as an “uncontested divorce” or a “default with an agreement” case and there will be no need for your spouse to fill out his or her Response form (FL-120) and file it with the court.
If your spouse wants to fill out the Response (FL-120) and file it with the court, then your spouse will have to pay the”first paper” filing fee (currently $435), unless he or she qualifies for a fee waiver. If you and your spouse are going to be able to reach a negotiated settlement so your case will be uncontested, there is no need for your spouse to file a Response with the court and there is a way for your spouse to avoid the “first paper” filing fee. The method for your spouse to avoid paying the “first paper” filing fee is explained in another section of this website. [See “Judgment“, then sub-topic, “Additional Forms“, and then the section entitled, “Processing a judgment as a default case with an agreement“].
If your case is going to be an uncontested case, your spouse does not need to worry about the notice printed on the Summons that says your spouse has 30 calendar days after the Summons and Petition are served in which to file the Response. You and your spouse can ignore the 30 day time limit if your case is going to be uncontested. The court won’t, on its own, do anything after the 30 days passes.
If your case is going to be a contested case because you and your spouse are not going to be able to work together and reach a negotiated settlement, then the 30 day rule is going to apply and your spouse should file their Response (FL-120) with the court within the 30 days, otherwise you could take their default. How to take your spouse’s default is discussed in another section of this website. [See “True Default Case“].
If your spouse wants to file a Response, they can use this website to do so. The Response (FL-120) is nearly identical to the Petition (FL-100). Since the Response (FL-120) is nearly identical to the Petition (FL-100), the same video guide instructions we provide in our “Initial Filings” video guides on how to fill out the Petition can be used by your spouse to fill out his or her Response (FL-120) and his or her UCCJEA (FL-105). Your spouse can click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database and find a blank FL-120 and a blank FL-105 that they can fill out and print. If your spouse wishes to purchase the “Initial Filings” video guides, he or she can click here for the “Video Guides”.