What You Need to Know about Divorce by Default

There are times wherein a divorce may be the answer to end your marital woes. It can be one of the hardest decisions you will make in your entire life. However, a choice should be made – even if it means ending your marriage for good. In such cases, you would have to hire top-rated divorce lawyers to help you deal with the complicated divorce process.

Anything can happen during the entire divorce process. On the one hand, the couple may both agree with the impending divorce and go ahead with the divorce proceedings. On the other hand, one of the spouses may not agree with the divorce and want to stick to the marriage. If the latter happens, it can lead to divorce by default judgment.

How divorce by default works

Divorce by default happens when one of the spouses does not respond to the divorce petition filed by the other spouse. Failure to response may either be unintentional or by purpose. That is why you should make sure that the other spouse has received the divorce papers. Regardless, you should seek professional advice from family lawyers specializing in divorce.

There are actually two instances wherein divorce is declared “by default”. For one, a divorce by default happens when the spouse who was given the divorce petition fails to respond within the time frame set by law. It is also applicable if one of the spouses fails to appear in court for the divorce proceedings.

On the other hand, a divorce by default judgment usually happens as the final step for an uncontested divorce. To declare it is as a divorce by default judgment, the spouse — the petitioner in this case – should be able to submit a request for divorce by default judgment. You can consult divorce lawyers for more details regarding this matter.

The spouse/petitioner should also include in the form his/her intention for alimony, child support and custody, and asset and property division. This will most likely be the last shot to forward the petition form. The petitioner may or may not expect the other party to respond.

Other forms may be required to you for submission, so you can check with spousal support lawyers regarding this. Next step is the waiting game. If the other party still does not respond to the latest petition and the response period is over, a divorce by default judgment may be granted by the court.

Pros of divorce by default

There are advantages and disadvantages of divorce by default. First, are the advantages, of which are the following:

  • Allows getting a divorce minus the expense of paying for lawyer’s fees and costs to attend hearings.
  • There is no need to disclose your financial status including your assets and income. On the other hand, all of these should be included in a traditional divorce.
  • It can actually be a part of the soon-to-be-ex-couple’s plan not to respond on the divorce petition in order to be granted a divorce by default. This will help them settle the divorce privately – with or without the help of family lawyers – and save face from attending public hearings.

Cons of divorce by default

On the other hand, a divorce by default also has its cons. Among these include the following.

  • There might be some kind of misunderstanding on the terms stipulated on the request for divorce by default. It can be risky even if the soon-to-be-ex-couple had already agreed to follow their prior plan to obtain a divorce by default.
  • It may lead to the judge referring you to another one, which means it can prolong the process of divorce. It may be because the previous judge wants to give a second chance to the other spouse to appear in court.
  • It may also happen that some unethical lawyers will purposefully delay the serving of the petition papers. This will result in a delayed or no response from the other spouse and then lead to divorce by default.

Should you go for a divorce by default?

If in case that you are the one given the divorce petition, it is important to hire the best divorce lawyers right away. You can contest or agree on the conditions stipulated on the petition. Nonetheless, it is still best that the divorce process undergoes as usual, to avoid any delays and mistakes along the way. For legal advice, contact the best divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA today.

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