What to do if your spouse does not respond to your Petition?
Your spouse has generally 30 days from the date of service of the petition for dissolution of marriage to file a response. If s/he does not, you could request that the court enter default against him or her. Unless you come to an agreement, default means that you have to prove up your case without the direct participation from your spouse. Obtaining all the necessary evidence is the key in those situations. The court will not award support unless you prove up your spouse’s income. Testimony will not suffice. Documents evidencing income, assets, etc. will be necessary in most cases. You can get these documents by a subpoena if you know your spouse’s place of employment, bank, accounts. It is vital to prepare for a divorce before you file the petition to either gather the financial documents or at least familiarize yourself with your spouse’s financial life such as where s/he banks, what accounts s/he holds, etc. Divorcing spouses often rely on getting this information and documents after divorce is started; however, such reliance can be costly both in terms of fees and time.
Even if your spouse does not respond to the petition, you can still reach an agreement. In that case, you do not need to prove up your case in a default prove-up hearing.