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What Does a Default Divorce Judgment Mean?
September 3, 2017
What does a default mean in a New York Divorce Action? There are two different meanings of default.
In the first instance, the most common one, is where a person to an action for divorce declines to answer the complaint within a certain period of time, usually 20 days but 30 days if out of state. This is when that party is in default.
In the second instance, a default is when you are preparing a judgment roll, to wit, finalizing an uncontested divorce. This kind of default is discussed in another article.
If your spouse fails to answer the complaint then your lawyer will file a request for judicial intervention and move the court for a default judgment. You will have to go to court and explain what happened. You will also have to show that you served your spouse in accordance with the law. The Court will usually require you to show that you made all efforts in your power to try to notify your spouse that a divorce action is pending. If you are petitioning for division of property then the Court will require you to file a Statement of Net Worth and perhaps make you try to serve your spouse one more time.
Be sure you consult with an attorney before you attempt to do these steps yourself and good luck.
By: Lisa Beth Older, Esq.