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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 518
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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I filed my Default in Augus 2015, the original petition was

Customer Question

I filed my Default in Augus 2015, the original petition was filed Sept 2014... Why is the OC Court taking so long? This is ridiculous. A year and some change later she decided to call my chain of command and demand money. Military makes you pay even if there isn't a court order, until it's finalized. I want to be divorced. She filed a response this Nov 2015, after she signed the acknowlement of recipt in January 2015, and three months after I filed a default, which they barely just put in the system they received it. I don't understand why this is so complicated. I just want to be free from the strangle hold she has on me via my Chain of Command.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had a Lawyer and I had to let her go because honestly she was not on my side or helping me and she is the reason things took so long in the beginning. I hate to say it, but it's true.
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question.

Sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time finalizing your divorce proceeding. In reviewing questions like this it is impossible to write down every detail so I have to make certain assumptions. If one of my assumptions are incorrect please let me know so I can clarify whether or not it changes the ultimate advice.

I'm unsure as to whether you filed for the default or whether your attorney file for the default. You also mentioned that it took forever for the court to process it. I'm unsure as to what this means. Typically the attorney or client prepares the default it is filed with the court and the day it is filed it is time stamped as received by the court. The time stamped date that the court received it counts as the date that it was filed. What it was prepared before that will not matter.

There are additional steps that need to be completed beyond simply filing for the default. If your attorney was involved in this process it would have been her responsibility to do so. If you were handling the process it would be your responsibility to ensure all documents and procedures are followed to finalize.

If wife filed her answer prior to finalizing the default it would no longer be a default case as she has now responded. It sounds to me like you will need to address the issues of her answer at this stage by reaching a settlement with her and entering into an agreement or placing the matter before the court for determination of the issues you can not agree upon so the court can make a final determination.

You are correct that Wife is utilizing the chain of command to her advantage. My advice would be to obtain a new attorney to complete the divorce as soon as possible. A handling a default on your own is very complicated to do and even difficult for attorneys to do in situations. The reason why I'm advising you to obtain another attorney is because I don't want you to continue to lose time and money while you try to figure out how to push this through the system. It will be far cheaper in the end to spend the money now obtaining a competent attorney to handle it correctly.

I know that this may not be the news you wanted to receive, but it is my honest advice. Please don't rate me negatively for speaking honestly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My Attorney filed the petition Sept 2014, waited til January 2015 to serve her. She signed the notice of acknowlement and never responded. So by August, I sent her my disclosures, waited 30+ 1 and filed a default bc of no response. In August, I also fired my Attorney bc she was not being very professional. Three months after I filed the default, my ex filed a response. The court did date stamp it, early September, when they received it, but they did not even scan it and put it in the system that they received it, until November. I am just wondering if I can go and ask the judge my self to get this over with. Can I do a letter to cease and desist telling her to stop calling my work and getting me in trouble. I have an impeccable military record, her and I were barely married 2 and a half years. This is ridiculous. Not to mention, she never responded for a year, then she wants to start trouble all of a sudden.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I filed a default, and an entry of judgement. I filed all of the paperwork correctly. The court is seriously back logged is the problem. But some Attorneys know ways through all of that and I was just hoping some one would know a way.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I filed my Default paperwork well before she responded. The court is just behind, like I said. Sorry for any confusion.
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

The problem is not just getting the default filed if she files an answer before the entry of the final order for the granting of your default in another words, then it no longer becomes a default as there is now a response albeit late.

I would definitely recommend sending a cease and desist letter.

Courts may be backlogged in terms of scheduling hearings but that should not affect when documents are recorded as received. I'm concerned that your attorney may have not told you the right date it was filed in order to cover up a delay on her part. That is why I was asking about the time stamp. If you're going to have any shot at pushing the issue of the default it would be with an attorney who practices in the specific county filed as they may have connections to try to get the matter processed properly and more expeditiously.