Lakeland Default Divorce Attorney
Divorces can be emotional events. You hope and pray that yours will go as smoothly as possible. You may think it would be great if your spouse ignores the divorce petition because that would mean less stress and conflict.
This is called a default divorce and the case can continue on without the other spouse’s participation. It’s as if the other spouse is agreeing with the terms of the petition. However, in Florida, there are limitations on the type of relief you can receive in a default divorce. So it’s best that both parties respond appropriately.
Has a default divorce been entered in your case? If so, consult with Lakeland default divorce attorney Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law. We’ll help you understand your legal options and next steps.
What is a Default Divorce?
A default divorce occurs when one party does not respond to the divorce petition. If a response is not filed within 20 calendar days of being served the petition, the divorce may be decided by a judge based on the default.
Once the 20-day period has passed, you can continue the divorce proceedings without the other party, with no court hearing needed. The defaulted party will not be allowed notice of future legal processes. You just need to consult with your attorney to make sure you meet all the requirements for your divorce case. For a default divorce, the entire process may take just a few months to finalize.
Under Florida law, there are two types of default divorce: clerk and judicial. Clerk default occurs when a party fails to respond to the petition. Judicial default occurs when a party fails to defend against the claims. Once the default is entered, the defaulted party has essentially waived their defenses. They are now treated as if they have admitted to all the allegations.
Can You Overturn a Default Divorce?
Under Florida law, a default divorce can be overturned if a person can prove three elements:
- Excusable neglect. This means there must have been a legitimate reason for not responding to the divorce within 20 days, such as hospitalization or serious illness.
- Meritorious defense. This refers to a lack of claimed grounds for the divorce For example, if your spouse claims abandonment even though you both lived together most of the time, you could use a meritorious defense.
- Due diligence. This means you responded quickly after learning the default had been entered
Contact Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law Today
In a divorce case, you need to respond quickly. Otherwise, the court can issue a default divorce, which may or may not work in your favor.
A default divorce does not have to be the end. These divorces can be overturned. Contact Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law for more information. Schedule a consultation with our Lakeland default divorce lawyer today by calling (863) 619-5291.