What is a default divorce? 29 Answers as of June 13, 2011

My spouse and I have don't have any disputes over how to proceed with the divorce. Is this considered a default divorce? Will this speed up the process if it is considered as such? Do they have default divorces here?

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Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law
Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law | Lillian Suelzle Watson
You can file a co-petitioners where you agree on everything. Forms are available at your courthouse or on line with the State of Oregon, department of justice. You would choose to hire a lawyer to draft of the documents or complete it by filing in the forms. If you have pensions to divide, real property or children, it may be more complicated than a 'do it yourself" divorce. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/13/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
It isn't a "default divorce" if you and your husband agree how the issues should be settled. A "default divorce" is a divorce where the respondent fails to file a response, the Petitioner files a request to enter the Respondent's default, and proceeds by way of a default hearing. You would be better off not to default in your divorce, but instead to enter into a Stipulated Judgment without your default being entered. It is faster and easier to settle the case that way, and leaves you less vulnerable to surprise. You should consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney to ensure that you are well advised as to your rights and obligations, to avoid the risk that you may be misinformed and may be giving up valuable rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
What you appear to be describing is an agreed divorce, not a default divorce. A default divorce is when one spouse files the initial pleadings, then serves the other spouse, and the served spouse fails to respond.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/13/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
I think what you are calling a "default divorce" is known as an "Uncontested" or "Agreed" Divorce in Texas. Default takes place when a party who is sued is served with notice but does not appear or make any effort to participate. It is one sided if you will. Find a good lawyer, talk to him or her, get a price for an uncontested divorce and ask your now wife if she has any problem sharing the legal expense and using one lawyer. If she is willing to work with a single lawyer, you go together to the lawyer and get it done. My office handles matters like this and we ask the clients come in together, sign waivers acknowledging that they want single representation for an uncontested divorce, we draft the petition, an agreement incident to divorce, a waiver or service and a final decree while you are in the office and everyone signs these documents. We collect the fee and you are free to leave. Then we file the documents, schedule the prove up with the court, make copies prepare the notices and "Austin Forms" as well as W/H Orders and Medical Support Orders, set up the Child support Accounts (if required) and coordinate the matter. When the 60 day wait period is up, the only thing left is the presentation to the Judge and getting his/her signature. What I just described is an Uncontested Divorce. One lawyer to do it all while the two of you are friendly and get all the papers done in one day. It takes about 3 to 4 hours on the first day and the rest of the work is done by the Judge's coordinator and my paralegal with the exception of the Final Prove-Up Hearing (which is more ceremony than anything and last 10 minutes). In a case like this, you would not have to pay Spousal Maintenance - unless you want to - because the nature of uncontested is that you both agree to everything. It is fast, relatively painless and not that expensive, plus many couples split the cost (sometimes equally, others not so equal). Each case is fact specific but as a point of reference - Filing Fees for the Court are $300 for a divorce. Add to that 4 - 5 hours of attorney time for the divorce and if there are any special issues add for those (30 minutes to prepare documents to transfer titles to one or two cars; an hour to 1.5 hours to prepare documents for transfer or sell of a house, 2 - 3 hours each to prepare orders dividing retirement accounts, etc.) - multiply the hours by the rate and get a ball park what it would cost. My office handles contested and uncontested divorces and other related family law matters in Collin and Dallas Counties. If you live in this area, please call us, we can set you an appointment, I can get more information and give you a cost estimate. You and your wife can then come in, and we will know within 30-40 minutes if this is contested or uncontested. If it is uncontested, you pay the fee, we complete all the documents. If it is going to be contested, I would be conflicted at that time but there would be no charge to you for the first 30 minutes (in other words, it cost you nothing to find out) and you can at least make an informed decision going forward.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/13/2011
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
A divorce where there are no disputes, would be an uncontested divorce. You would both enter into a signed agreement and file the agreement with the necessary forms. You may wish to consult an attorney to assist you with the matter so that the court can accept and approve your judgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    What you are describing would be a simplified divorce, but that is only available if there are no children. A default occurs when one party fails to file an answer to the divorce papers.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    If you and your husband have no disputes regarding how to proceed with the dissolution, division of assets, child custody and child support, etc., you can petition together for the dissolution. If your spouse signs a joinder, it means that s/he is joining in the petition for dissolution, and the proposed orders represent what both of you have agreed. Your divorce can be final in 90 days. A default dissolution occurs when the respondent does not file an answer to the dissolution petition. If s/he does not answer, then after 90 days, they are said to have defaulted on the petition and the dissolution can be ordered.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    No, this is not considered a default divorce in Illinois. One is considered in default when he/she has been served the original dissolution of marriage and Summons and has not filed their appearance and answer within the required 30 days. I encourage you to seek counsel in preparing for your divorce as there are rules and timelines that must be followed by the courts that we, as attorneys, are aware of and must act accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A default divorce occurs when one party fails to respond to the moving papers or by agreement of the parties. In a default, the court may treat the case as uncontested and enter an order based on the evidence presented by one party.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    If you don't have any disputed issues in the divorce, then it is an uncontested divorce. And yes, this can speed the process up substantially, and you can be divorced in about a month or so, provided all of the required paperwork is properly filed. You may want to consult with an attorney to assist you with the paperwork and make sure that all the proper documents are filed and all necessary issues addressed. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    A default occurs in a legal case when the party being sued fails to show up to defend himself within the required time limits. The party who sued wins "by default" because whatever he/she asks for is presumed to be correct because the other side failed to present his/her side. In a divorce case it will speed things up, but it is risky for the spouse who chooses to do nothing and "default" because the other spouse could end up with a court order giving him/her everything and more. It is not a good tactical plan.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    A default divorce is where one side files for divorce and serves the other side, and the other side never responds. In that situation, the party filing the divorce may have final papers entered any time more than 90 days after the filing and service. Washington law requires a waiting period of at least 90 days. A "cleaner" option, and one that can be accomplished in the same time period, may be an agreed divorce. If you and your spouse are in agreement and can work together, then, you could do the divorce my agreement. The two of you would prepare all of the necessary documents, and both sign all of them, stating you are agreeing to this. These documents would include a summons, a petition, a joinder, a findings, and a decree. There may also need to be a parenting plan, child support order, and other documents depending on your circumstances. The summons, petition, and joinder would be filed at the start of the case. Then, you would wait out the 90 days. After the 90 days had passed, you could then set up a hearing to have findings, decree, and any other final documents entered.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law a default occurs when you file a divorce, serve it on your spouse, and your spouse fails to file any response. In that event, since the spouse is not participating, you can proceed to complete the divorce on your own. A better way to proceed if everything is agreed is to work out agreed final orders and have both parties sign off on them. Either way, there is a minimum 90 day waiting period between when you file and serve and when you can finalize.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    A default divorce occurs where one side does not respond after being served with copies of the petition and summons for divorce. For a default, you ordinarily have to wait 90 days before the divorce can be finalized. The speediest way to get a divorce is to have both husband and wife sign a stipulated judgment of divorce. Then, there is no 90 day waiting period.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    It would be an uncontested divorce and you would probably be able to finalize it soon after the mandatory 90 day period.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    A default divorce is when one party fails to show for the divorce trial. The other side "wins" by default. You are possibly confusing this with an "uncontested" divorce where both sides are in agreement and will go forward with an agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    In Georgia, the parties may allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken, as part of a simple, uncontested divorce. I recommend that you retain a divorce lawyer to help you with the divorce and to advise you as to all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    A "default" is when one party doesn't respond. If both parties are in agreement about how to resolve all relevant divorce issues (e.g., asset/debt division, custody, support, etc.), then you can process your divorce by "default with agreement." This will save filing fees, and is a pretty simple way to wrap up a divorce. Call a local family law lawyer near you who has experience with "default by agreement" divorces. If in Sonoma or Marin County, feel free to contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    A default divorce is where one party is served but fails to answer. I think you are describing an uncontested divorce or divorce by agreement. They are faster and cheaper, by a lot. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No, it is considered an uncontested divorce in NY and it goes just as fast either way. Speak to a lawyer just in case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    A default judgment in Washington is when you petition for divorce, serve your spouse and he/she doesn't respond so the judge lets you win. If you and your spouse are in agreement, it's just an agreed dissolution. Congratulations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    A default divorce is when the other side does not submit an answer and the divorce gets entered according to the Petition.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    I'm not sure where here is. In Ohio you would be good candidates for uncontested divorces or a dissolution. Please contact your local domestic relations attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    A default occurs when the non-filing party is served with the petition and doesn't file a response. It can be a true default, where the Respondent simply doesn't participate in the process and the Petitioner does all the work, or a default which is really an uncontested judgment, whereby the Respondent and Petitioner reach agreement on a settlement, then the Petitioner prepares the forms and files the judgment in accordance with the agreement. A default Judgment can be entered anytime after 30 days have passed since the service of the petition, but status cannot be changed to single until 6 months and 1 day have passed since service. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    It sounds like you're thinking of an "uncontested" divorce. There is no such thing as a "default" divorce. If you and your spouse have agreed on all of the issues that need to be addressed in a settlement agreement, then the process would be to have a lawyer draft all of the required documents, sign, file with the court, and schedule an uncontested divorce hearing (which is a formality where you appear before the judge and they grant the divorce). This is the quickest and least expensive way to obtain a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You didn't state what state you live in so there is no way to answer you. And did you mean "no fault" or perhaps "uncontested?"
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    What you are referring to is an uncontested divorce which is quicker than a contested divorce. A default is Something else.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/9/2011
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