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What if My Spouse Does Not Respond to the Divorce Process?

 Posted on July 31, 2023 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerFor whatever reason, a spouse may not respond when they have been served with divorce papers. They may not want to face reality, or they think that the matter will go away entirely. Failure to respond to a divorce filing could lead to a default judgment. In that case, the court only has the filing spouse to listen to, and they will usually grant the divorce on the terms that the spouse is seeking.

When a Spouse Is Considered to Be in Default

Court rules set the time limit for responding to a divorce filing. The defendant in the proceedings would have 30 days to file their answer. If they give the court good reason, the judge could extend the deadline to file the answer. However, the defendant may simply not respond at all. In order to avoid a default judgment, the spouse must do the bare minimum to participate in the process. They could even avoid default if they file an appearance with the court within 30 days.

The Default Process

The court will not just move to issue a default order right after the time period expires. You would need to notify the non-responding spouse when you file the default order with the court. This would give that spouse a second notice that they need to respond to your filing in some manner. The court would consider the motion for default and likely grant it if the other spouse still has not responded. When it comes to default, late is late. The court will not reconsider the default after the order is entered.

The Effect of a Default

When one spouse fails to respond, the court has the petition for divorce and nothing else to consider. In effect, they are only hearing one side. Therefore, they will usually grant what you ask for if the other spouse is not there to object. Your requests would need to be within reason. Regardless, it is an extremely bad idea to fail to respond to a divorce filing, and it should never be done under any circumstances.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

Regardless of the circumstances, you should always seek legal help from a Naperville, IL divorce lawyer. The attorneys at Calabrese Associates, P.C. can counsel and represent you from start to finish. To speak with an attorney, you can call us at 630-393-3111.



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