why you need an attorney during a divorce

why you need an attorney during a divorce

What Is A Default Divorce And Can You Contest It?

by Diana Butler

A default divorce occurs when a person seeks to divorce their partner, but the partner cannot be found. If the partner cannot be found, it means they can't be served with divorce papers, and they also can't dispute the allegations and demand put forth in the divorce filing. In such a case, as long as the conditions for a default divorce have been met, the judge will grant the divorce to the person who made the filing without further consideration to the other party.

The Problem

As you can see, a default divorce is likely to be one-sided because it will favor the person who made the filing. This can be grossly unfair to you if you are the absent partner, particularly if you have legitimate reasons for missing. In fact, some people can take advantage of default divorce laws to trick the court into granting their wishes even if they know there is a legitimate reason you aren't around. Consider a case in which you are injured overseas, and you have to stay in the country until you are healed. If you can't be located in time, your partner can easily get a lopsided default divorce against you.

The Contest 

Luckily, there are laws that grant you the right to contest a default divorce under certain circumstances. Note that you will have a limited time in which to launch the contest, so you need to move fast before it expires. In fact, you should consult a lawyer as soon as you realize a default divorce has been granted to your partner without your knowledge and you wish to contest it. The lawyer will tell you how much time you have to launch your contest and what you need to do it.

You should also know that you will need to show "good cause" for contesting the default divorce, which is basically a good reason you should be allowed to contest the divorce. You can do this via several ways including by showing that:

  • You were sick and couldn't reply to the initial divorce filing
  • You were hiding from domestic abuse from your partner
  • You were serving the government overseas

As you can see, you don't have to accept your "fate" if you have been handed an unfavorable divorce judgment in your absence. If you have found yourself in such a situation, talk to a divorce lawyer to analyze your case and advice you on the way forward.


About Me

why you need an attorney during a divorce

My daughter and her former husband went through some very tough years. They tried everything to make their marriage work, but it just wasn't going to work out. When she came to me for advice about what to do, I sent her on to a divorce attorney. I explained to her how important it is to have a legal professional working with you from the very start of a divorce. If you are preparing to file for a divorce, or are currently going through one, go to my site. There, you will learn several reasons why you should have an attorney representing you through the process.