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What is the name of your state? California

My friend 's husband is hispanic and has a permanent green card. He has just advised my friend that he intends to ask for joint custody of their 5 year old daughter. My friend filed for divorce on 10/23/03. Neither have attorneys and my friend used a paralegal firm. The husband has taken back the papers to this paralegal firm and advised that he cannot speak english and wants the papers in spanish. This is a lie and a ploy as he can speak english extremely well. So, I guess my question is what can he realistically do if he does not hire an attorney and/or remit his response to the divorce/custody papers within the 30 days to the court to be filed? Does this make sense?


Senior Member
My response:

You know, it really breaks my heart. The Summons is in English/Spanish. The Spanish portion instructs him to obtain an interpreter for the rest of the Petition. If he doesn't get an interpreter on his own, and fails to respond to the Petition within 30 days of personal service on him, then he's subject to a default - - and he automatically loses.

There is no law requiring entitlement to Spanish language papers, nor an entitlement to a paid interpreter. We have 101 different languages in the United States, and cannot accommodate everyone.

So, if he wants to "stand on ceremony", then he does so at his own risk.

Last edited:


Thank you, I appreciate your upfront candor and honesty.

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