If your spouse has filed for divorce, you are entitled to personal service of a copy of that lawsuit. If this copy of the lawsuit includes the phrase “default judgment”, then it is up to the respondent to file a written answer as specified in that petition.
Typically, in this situation, your attorney will file a written answer with the court to inform the court that you know that you have been sued, and you are preparing an answer for the lawsuit.
What is a Default Divorce?
A default divorce is when the person who was sued for divorce fails to file a written answer within the requisite time period.
Failure to file an answer means the court will have to enter a default judgment. A default judgment is a judgment entered by a divorce court when the person who was served with the divorce petition fails to file an answer according to the instructions in the divorce notice.
What is a default judgment in Texas?
The court will enter a judgment based on what the person who filed for divorce asked for if the other spouse does not file a written answer. The court will still need evidence from the petitioner that the property division is fair, and that the best interest of the child are catered for in whatever is being asked for.
It is up to the parent that is being sued for divorce to contradict the other parent’s argument. But you have to be in court to contradict the arguments by the parent that sued for divorce or that parent may get more of what they want in the case.
A spouse can only get a default divorce if the other spouse has been served with the divorce petition, and the person has not answered the petition as specified in the petition.
60 Day Divorce Waiting Period in Texas
You should remember that there is a 60 day waiting period before a divorce is finalized in Texas. This means that the soonest a divorce can be finalized is on the day after 60th day. So before the sixty days are up you may have some protection if you failed to answer within the time period specified in the petition.
If the petition specifies that you should file an answer “the Monday next after the expiration of 20 days”, there is a method you can use to calculate the day your answer is due. Just find out the date you were served on the calendar, count out 20 more days including the weekends, then go to the next Monday.
The divorce process will continue normally if you file the answer in time.
Uncontested Default Divorce in Texas
If your spouse fails to provide an answer to the court within the prescribed time, the court will grant a default divorce. The divorce degree will include:
You will have to provide evidence for everything you are asking for. For example, if you are asking for child support, you must show the court the other parent’s income. The judge will review all the documents you provided, and will grant divorce if you have provided all the information and the evidence required.