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What is a Default Divorce?

In California if you do not respond to a spouse’s petition for divorce or separation or you file a response and come to an agreement, the case will be considered a default divorce or uncontested case. In a true default divorce, you give up any right to have a say in your divorce or separation. Before choosing this option, make sure to read through the filed paperwork carefully. Whatever they ask for in the papers will probably be exactly what the court orders.

Most people prefer to take part in the decisions that are made about the future during their divorce. They can do so through a number of methods:

  1. Not responding but getting a notarized written agreement.
  2. Filing a response and reaching an agreement afterward.

Responding in either of these ways will allow participation in the decisions made in the divorce/separation.

Pros of the Default Divorce: Some people like to use the default divorce because it involves lower costs and they don’t have to produce financial information regarding income and assets. The default divorce is quick and confidential; without any public hearings or trials. If you do choose to go through a default divorce, it’s important to know that there may be some serious pitfalls.

Cons of the Default Divorce: There are unsavory people out there and agreeing to a default divorce as the defendant can leave you a victim at a very vulnerable point in your life. In some cases, the divorce papers will purposefully be served in a way that ensures there will not be enough time to review and respond. In situations where the two parties agreed to a default divorce, the party acting as plaintiff my purposefully or accidentally present the requests in the divorce complaint in such a way that takes advantage of the defendant spouse. By not responding, the defendant spouse is completely giving up their rights to contest the court’s orders.

If you are considering a default divorce or if a default judgment for divorce has been issued against you and you need help to protect your rights please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm right away.

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