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Default Judgment

A default judgment is a very bad thing if you are the Respondent in a divorce. If a process server delivers a copy of a divorce petition and the local standing orders to you, the worst thing you can do is simply ignore it. If you get served with papers that inform you that your spouse is seeking a divorce, you need to immediately talk to a lawyer to represent your interests in the divorce.

If you simply ignore the petition you got served with, once the 60 day waiting period has passed after the original divorce petition was filed, your spouse and his/her attorney can simply go to the Court's uncontested docket and have a short divorce hearing in front of the judge without you participating in it at all.

What happens if the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins are supposed to have a football game and one of the teams refuses to show up for the game? If you guessed that the team that shows up wins and the team that does not show up loses, you are right.

The spouse that shows up at the default judgment hearing gets to testify about the facts of the case and you are not there to dispute anything they say. That means you could get stuck with paying more than a fair amount for monthly child support, more than fair spousal maintenance, you could get less visitation with your children than you think is fair, you could get a lot less than your fair share of the community property in the divorce, you could get stuck with paying more than your fair share of the community debts, etc.

It is never a good idea to simply ignore the paperwork when you get served with papers informing you that you are being sued for divorce.

Call me if you have been served with divorce paperwork. I am here to help. I will charge you $250 for a one hour office consultation. If you decide to retain me in your divorce, I charge $300 an hour for my time.