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What are the pros and cons of a default divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Blog, Divorce

When one spouse files for divorce and the other does not respond within the given timeframe, a court may grant the request regardless. In legal terms, this is what one calls a default divorce.

Before moving forward with this option, it is wise to remember that default divorces have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of a default divorce

One benefit of a default divorce is efficiency. Divorce proceedings can move forward without the back-and-forth negotiations that typically slow down the process.

Also, default divorces typically cost less than contested divorces. Since there tend to be fewer court appearances and less paperwork, the price tag of ending a marriage is usually much lower. Any financial advantage is especially desirable for individuals looking to start a new life.

Further, the filing spouse has more control over the terms of the divorce agreement, including asset division, child support and custody arrangements. This power can ensure that the settlement’s terms match one’s needs and desires.

Cons of a default divorce

On the other hand, the other spouse’s lack of participation sometimes leaves unresolved issues or emotions. This lack of closure can be challenging for some, subsequently impacting their ability to move on.

A default divorce might leave the nonresponding spouse feeling like the subject of unfair treatment. This could lead to future legal entanglements if the ex wants to dispute the terms of the agreement after the fact.

While being able to set the divorce conditions is beneficial, it comes with the responsibility of ensuring a fair settlement. There is a risk of proposing terms heavily skewed toward oneself, which might not stand up if the other spouse chooses to contest the matter.

A default divorce offers a path forward when a spouse is unreachable or cannot participate in the divorce process. Despite this, understanding all the angles of what this legal maneuver means remains necessary.