Default Divorce

A default judgment is a divorce judgment that is entered by the court even though there has been no response filed by one of the spouses. The benefit of a default judgment is that you can get divorced, even if your spouse does not respond. It can also be used when there are no property, support or custody issues for the court to resolve.

The default judgment is entered by the court based on the relief requested in the petition for dissolution. In order to enter a default, the petition must set forth details of all issues that need to be resolved in the judgment.

A default can be requested 30 days after the petition, summons and supporting paperwork are properly served, if no response is filed. However, there are additional preliminary disclosures that must be served before the court will grant a request for default.

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of requesting a default. Sometimes it is the only option. But a default judgment is easier to set aside and it is important to look at the cost-benefit before requesting a default. There are steps that can be taken to protect against a set-aside, including having a marital settlement agreement signed by both parties.