Non-voluntary Dismissal of Dissolution or Legal Separation

Non-voluntary Dismissal of Dissolution or Legal Separation

If, as a respondent, you receive a Notice of Lack of Service and Intent to Dismiss, you need to serve the other party. “Service” means that you deliver the papers to the other party through a process server or by having the other party sign a document to accept service. Your action could be dismissed without any further notice any time after if you do not take the steps listed below.


THE PROOF OF SERVICE. If you have served the other party, you must be sure that the proof of service has been filed with the clerk of the court at the filing counter immediately. If you need to obtain the form and instructions to serve the other party, go to one of the Self-Service Centers (see locations) or from the Self-Service Center website.


motion to ask the judge for more time to serve the court papers before the court automatically dismisses your case. The order granting the extension must be SIGNED by the judge BEFORE the dismissal date indicated on the notice (download form).

  1. VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL OF YOUR CASE. If you want to dismiss your case instead of waiting for the court to dismiss it, forms and instructions are available at Family Court Administration. You can also download the form and mail it to the court.

Remember that you can contact Best Law Firm at any point for advice and help with your documents.

An example of Notice of Lack of Service and Intent to Dismiss follows:

The notice and intent to dismiss is sent to you if more than 120 days has passed from the date the petition was filed. Your case will be dismissed unless you take steps to prevent the dismissal. If temporary orders have been issued, THESE ORDERS WILL END WITH THE DISMISSAL of your action. If a paternity case

has been dismissed and the parties have agreed to paternity and now have temporary orders for support, decision-making, etc, you may not have a final order of paternity. Temporary orders for support, decision-making, visitation, etc., will also end.

If you do not want your action dismissed for lack of prosecution, you must do one of the following:

  • Submit a final decree/order and have it signed by a judge or commissioner prior to the dismissal date.
  • If a response has been filed, file a proper motion to set your case for trial or conference.
  • If a response has not been filed, a proper default hearing must be scheduled by calling 602-372-3332 or online at
  • If you need more time to complete your case, you must file a motion to ask the judge for additional time. The judge must sign the order granting your motion prior to the dismissal date listed on the notice.
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