The Consequences of Defaulting in Divorce
The law gives parties to lawsuits a certain amount of time to respond before the court will take some sort of action on its own. In the case of divorce, when a spouse fails to respond to papers that have been properly served, that spouse risks a default judgment. Similarly, if a spouse fails to attend necessary divorce hearings, that spouse may risk a default judgment. If the spouse who served papers seeks a default judgment formally and obtains it before the other spouse responds, the spouse who initiated legal action will essentially get to control the terms of the divorce settlement. Similarly, if the couple has minor children, the spouse who properly served the papers and obtained a default judgment will largely control the terms of child custody, spousal support and child support.
The word “default” can either be a completely benign term or it can be quite unnerving. In some contexts, default simply means preselected. For example, if you are attending a formal function and are a vegetarian, you may need to inform the host or hostess of that fact in order to avoid being served the default menu which may include meat. This use of the term default is relatively innocuous. However, in legal and financial contexts, the word default generally proves to be more ominous. Defaulting on a loan may lead to serious financial consequences. Defaulting on a mortgage may lead to foreclosure. And defaulting during a divorce may mean that you get no say in regards to the terms of your divorce settlement.
If you have failed to respond to divorce papers served by your spouse and believe you may be either at-risk for defaulting on your divorce or you have already defaulted, please schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Daniel Wright at your earliest possible convenience. You may still have a number of legal options available to you, but your options will become more limited as time passes. The sooner you speak with a Rockville, MD family law lawyer about your situation, the sooner our Rockville, Maryland family law dispute law firm can help you to the best of our ability under the circumstances.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about divorce generally or default and/or alimony specifically, please consider scheduling a consultation with our Rockville, Maryland family law dispute law firm at your earliest convenience. Divorce is a complex area of law and no single general rule applies in all situations. It is therefore important to seek experienced, personalized legal guidance instead of making assumptions about your particular case.
Once you schedule a consultation with our Rockville, Maryland family law dispute law firm, we will be able to learn about your unique situation and advise you of any legal options that may be available to you. Should you require additional guidance and support moving forward, we will be happy to provide it and/or direct you to the resources that best fit your needs. Regardless of whether or not your divorce is being impacted by a default situation, please do not panic. Instead, schedule a consultation today and allow us to help you work through your current circumstances.