Your Guide To Default Divorce In Texas
Divorce is complicated. No matter the specific circumstances of the situation, there are still many legal, logistical, emotional, and financial challenges associated with the divorce process. The whole thing is made all the more confusing if your spouse simply refuses to engage in good faith. You may even be stuck dealing with someone who will not cooperate at all. In this situation, a default divorce may be the best path forward. Within this article, our Houston divorce attorney explains the key know about default judgments in divorce cases in Texas.
What is a Default Judgment?
The Legal Information Institute defines a default judgment as a court ruling in favor of one party because the other party has failed to respond to the legal complaint. In the context of divorce in Texas, a default judgment can be obtained when one party has filed for divorce and the other party fails to respond or participate in the proceedings.
Divorce Papers Must Be Properly Served
When filing for a contested divorce in Houston, it is crucial to ensure that the divorce papers are properly served on the other party. You must comply with the process service requirements found within Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 103. The reason proper service of process is so important is that a Texas court cannot grant a default divorce unless the other party has been properly notified of the proceedings. Be sure to seek legal guidance from an experienced Houston divorce lawyer.
The Recipient of Divorce Papers Can (and Should) File an Answer
The recipient of divorce papers—known as the respondent—has the right to file an answer in response to the divorce petition. An answer is a legal document in which the respondent can provide their own account of the events leading up to the divorce, as well as their desired outcome for the divorce proceedings. Filing an answer can also help to protect the respondent’s rights and interests in the divorce, such as their right to receive a fair distribution of assets and debts. What happens if no answer (response) is made to divorce papers? The spouse who served the papers—the petitioner—has the right to file for a default judgment .
Proceeding With a Default Judgment in Texas
Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 157.115), a court may render a default judgment in a divorce case if the party in question has been properly served and he or she fails to appear in court or otherwise properly respond to the divorce petition. In the scenario, the divorce process will effectively move forward without the participation of the unresponsive spouse. At the end of the day, they cannot block a divorce by refusing to cooperate.
Schedule a Fully Confidential Consultation With a Houston Default Divorce Lawyer
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., we are committed to making a positive difference for our clients. If you have any specific questions about default divorce in Texas, we are here to help. Contact us now for a completely confidential, no obligation case evaluation. Our family & divorce firm helps clients with default divorce in Houston, Harris County, and communities beyond.