First of all: What is a default judgment? When you are involved in a divorce case, you expect everything to go smoothly and for your spouse to cooperate. When you serve your spouse with a petition, you expect them to answer is within your state’s time limits because this is how your case moves forward. But what happens if your spouse fails to appear at court and outright ignores the petition? You could request a default judgment.
Default judgments are those that grant the divorce and gives you everything that you demanded in the divorce petition. It is a binding court order, which means it’s complete once it occurs. If a default judgment is entered, usually the judge will not hear the side of the story by the other party. This means that you could be successful in gaining everything you want when it concerns matters like division of property, parenting plans, alimony, child support, and more. If your spouse decides to, they can attempt to vacate the default judgment, which means that you can try to excuse yourself and prove why you waited so long to respond.
How to Vacate a Default Judgment
If you or your spouse knows that default judgment is going to occur, you may wonder how you can vacate this. Here are some ways you have to prove your case:
- You or your spouse reasonably misunderstood the facts of the deadline in a mistake
- A petition was served in a way that left you a short amount of time to respond
- Fraud or serious misconduct occurred in the serving
- You were coerced into not responding
- Neglect that is excused under the circumstances
Your spouse may be able to show that they had a valid excuse by showing that the judgment is not in the best interests of your child or that it violates your nuptial agreement that you sat and made with your spouse. These are ways that the default judgment will be unable to move forward.
Vacating a default judgment can be a complicated process, which means that it is wise to hire a family law attorney to handle your case. We are here for you at the Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, where your case means everything to us. Call us for more information on how you can move forward.