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.
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.
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:
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.
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