What You Need To Know About A Default Divorce

9 March 2020
 Categories: Law, Blog


When most people think of divorce, they just think of two married people deciding to end their marriage. And while, at its core, that is what divorce is, it's actually a bit more complex than that, at least from a legal standpoint.

Legally, there are actually many different types and classifications of divorce. One that you don't hear about a lot, however, is the default divorce. This is a divorce that occurs when one party files a divorce petition which goes unanswered by the other party or when the other party fails to show up in court as required. The divorce is typically automatic due to the other person's failure to act within a pre-specified amount of time.

While this isn't really a type of divorce anyone chooses, since it could happen to anyone, it's important to understand a few basics about it and how it works.

The Attorney Rule

In some cases, the person against whom the divorce complaint is being filed may have retained legal counsel of their own. This is smart since legal counsel is helpful for both parties involved in a divorce, no matter what their stance on the matter.

When an attorney is representing a client and this is known to the court, any petitions filed against the client are required to also be sent to the client's attorney for perusal.

Thus, if you are the one filing the petition, you'll want to ensure that your spouse's legal counsel is informed. And, if you're on the other side, know that you have a valid claim if paperwork is not sent to your attorney within the required timeframe.

The Serving Requirement

Be aware that there are right and wrong ways to inform your spouse of the petition for divorce. In almost all states, divorce paperwork has to be officially served to the other party. However, how this must be done will vary from one state to the next.

Thus, before you file divorce paperwork, make sure you are aware of how the other party must receive this paperwork and that you follow suit accordingly. Otherwise, you might have to start the whole process over again.

As you can see, even a default divorce can be a tricky thing. For this reason, it's highly advisable to seek legal counsel. Whether you're the one filing for divorce or the one who is being filed against, the right legal help can be extremely beneficial.

To learn more, contact a divorce attorney.