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What is a default divorce?
Default divorce is not like selecting the default settings on your internet.
When I think of a word like default, I think of going back to what something was originally. The word default when used in reference to a divorce does not make the marriage go back to the way it was before. A default divorce is declared primarily when one party does not respond in the allotted time or fails to appear in court. To be specific it is not the divorce that goes into default, it is the non-responding party that is in default.
At the time this default divorce is determined:
- The judge decides:
- whether a divorce should be granted or not
- the terms of the custody of children
- the amount of child support
- alimony and
- division of property.
- The judge bases his ruling on the oral or written testimony of the only party who filed the suit.
- Usually the other party can file a motion within the time specified for vacating the judgment or order.
- A motion to vacate a default divorce is directed to the discretion of the trial court.
A default divorce may also occur when both parties agree on all issues.
- This is common when parties have discussed how they want to settle issues before the Complaint is filed or the Respondent feels the Complaint is reasonable. In some states the parties can end their marriage by filing a default divorce, which is the easiest and inexpensive way to divorce.
Some states do not favor default divorce proceedings because they do not allow one party their “day in court.” If you find yourself in a position that seemed like your divorce would proceed smoothly then are not able to get response from your ex, you may be best served to obtain a divorce attorney to be sure your future will be secure.
Remember that divorce mediation is available. Divorce Mediation is not to repair a marriage to avoid divorce, it is to provide a setting for couple so they may decide together what divorce decree decisions will be best for both parties. When decisions are left to judges the couple loses the ability to offer compromises.