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Can I Get a Default Judgment in My Divorce Case?

Posted on in Divorce

wheaton divorce lawyerIn the early stages of divorce proceedings, the petitioner, or the party who files for divorce, must submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The individual who is served divorce papers, also known as the respondent, is then given the opportunity to reply to the divorce petition and participate in the divorce proceedings. During this period, the respondent may take issue with some of the petitioner's choices concerning matters such as the division of marital property, child custody, or other matters. The petitioner and respondent can negotiate terms to try and reach a settlement with help from their attorneys.If a settlement cannot be reached, the divorce case then progresses to a trial where a judge will handle unresolved issues. 

However, what happens if the respondent relinquishes their opportunity to partake in the divorce, refuses to respond, or cannot be located? In this situation, the court can choose to enter something called a default judgment. If you are getting a divorce and have reason to believe your spouse may not be willing to participate in the proceedings, do not hesitate to contact an experienced divorce attorney who has knowledge of divorce cases involving default judgments. 

Default Judgments in DuPage County Divorce Cases

Under Illinois state law, a respondent is granted 30 days from when the petitioner files the petition to respond. However, in some cases, the respondent may fail to reply to the petition within the allotted period of 30 days. In this case, the petitioner can file a motion for a default divorce. While the respondent can request an extension, they will not be allowed to prolong the divorce case to extend it. Proceeding with a default divorce means that the case will proceed without the presence of the respondent. 

Divorce Terms in Default Divorce Cases

When the court decides to go forward with the divorce without the respondent, the petitioner may then be granted, within reason, the divorce terms that they requested. Since the respondent failed to respond, they will be unable to contest the petitioner's requests. The petitioner will decide on issues like the allocation of parental responsibilities, division of marital property, and other divorce issues. 

In Illinois, the respondent has 30 days after the default judgment is entered to contest the decision by asking the court to vacate it. During this period, the respondent will need to come prepared with a rock-solid reason as to why they did not respond to the petitioner in the first place. 

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Always try to oblige with all phases of the divorce process. Failing to oblige significantly minimizes your chances of a satisfactory outcome in the case. If you are getting divorced, contact the highly experienced Wheaton, IL, divorce lawyers with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call today for an all-encompassing consultation.





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