Questions About Default Judgement in Pennsylvania Divorce

divorce default judgement

What Happens When a Spouse Refuses to Respond to a Divorce Complaint in Pennsylvania?

A written response to a divorce complaint is not required in Pennsylvania. Every statement in a divorce complaint is deemed to have been denied by the other spouse unless they admit the statement in a written response called an Answer.

In some instances the spouse who initiated the divorce process may not have raised all claims that need to be addressed by the court and the other spouse may choose to file a response that includes those claims. Those claims may include a request that the court divide the parties’ marital property (Equitable Distribution), a request for ongoing financial support (Alimony), a request to maintain health or life insurance, a request for counseling, or a request for the repayment of attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred during the course of the divorce action.

Can a Default Judgement Enter in Divorce in PA?

There is no default judgment for divorce in Pennsylvania. If a spouse who has been properly served with the divorce complaint fails to participate in the divorce action, at the appropriate time, the spouse who filed for divorce can request that the court establish the basis for the entry of the divorce decree. This is known as establishing grounds for the divorce. Once the divorce grounds are established, the filing spouse can request the entry of the final divorce decree. However, until and unless all issues related to the marital property of the parties and their finances have been addressed and resolved, seeking to finalize the divorce may not be in one’s best interest.

Related: 7 Issues You Must Consider Before Filing A Divorce

How Long Does a Divorce Take in PA If One Party Doesn’t Agree?

If the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of one year, grounds for the divorce can be established. Once grounds are established, the divorce can be finalized if all property and financial issues of the parties have been resolved. If there are unresolved property or financial issues between the parties, it is necessary to request that the court address those issues before granting a final divorce decree.

Related resources:

How Long Do You Have to Respond to Divorce Papers in Pennsylvania?

Because no response is required to the initial divorce complaint in Pennsylvania, there is no deadline for a response. In some instances, the Court may issue a deadline for response on a particular matter. It is important to carefully read and promptly act on any and all paperwork received from the opposing party or the court.

Can a Divorce Judgement Be Reversed in PA?

A party can seek to open a divorce decree under limited circumstances and for a limited time. A court may grant such a request where there was fraud or new evidence that would lead the court to question the validity of the original divorce decree.

How Colgan and Associates can help you

Our team of trusted divorce attorneys at Colgan & Associates stand ready to assist with your matter, whether you have questions about the possibility of a default divorce or another family law issue. We proudly offer no-cost phone consultations to individuals so that we may better understand their matter and offer guidance. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, please reach out to us today at (717) 502-5000.

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