What is a Default Divorce and How Does it Happen

Several methods of divorce are common in Alabama Courts. The most common way of getting a divorce is when the other spouse is served the filing and they get a lawyer. Negotiations ensue and an agreement is reached. Another way the divorce can happen is the spouse can be served the paperwork and not respond within thirty days. What are default divorces in Alabama and how does it work

If they don’t respond within thirty days then your local divorce attorney in Selma or wherever you are living can file a Motion for Default. This Motion requests a judgment of divorce by default and is usually how someone gets divorced if the spouse just ignores the filing.

A default divorce basically occurs when the respondent (the person who has a divorce suit brought against them) does not respond to the divorce suit filed by the petitioner (the person who filed for divorce). By law, the respondent has a set amount of time to respond to the suit (thirty days in Alabama). Failure to respond is called a default. When there is a default, the divorce suit will continue to proceed to the courts. 

The presiding judge will base their ruling on the testimony (oral or written) of the person who filed for the divorce. Your divorce lawyer in Birmingham will ask you these questions at the default hearing. The judge’s ruling includes all the pertinent matters in a divorce including division of property and financial assets, alimony, and matters relating to the children of the marriage.

While a default divorce may seem like an easy option, respondents are best avoiding this situation. Because their testimony is not presented to a judge, they may feel that the final divorce ruling is more favorable to the petitioner, but will need to comply with the specifics set out in the suit. 

In addition to this, many times the judge will not take up issues like child support or other matters without the other party there. So you can get your divorce by default but there might be lingering and unresolved issues that you have to go through another court to get taken care of later on.

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