What is a default judgement?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2012

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What is a default judgement?

My husband doesn’t know I’m moving forward with our divorce. So, as far as I know, he hasn’t hired a family law attorney. Yet, I received a copy of paperwork sent through e-mail stating if my husband doesn’t respond himself or through an attorney within 20 days there will be a default judgement?

Asked on September 15, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


Anthony Van Johnson / VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, L.L.C.

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You indicated that your husband does not know you are moving forward with your divorce.  I am assuming that you have served your husband with the Complaint for Divorce and a Summons notifying him that he has thirty (30) days to file an Answer.  And I am assuming that service was made through the Sheriff's Department or some authorized private process server, unless your husband signed an Acknowledgment of Service or service was made by publication.  Assuming all of that, judgment may be granted by default if the Defendant fails to file responsive pleadings within the time specified under Georgia law.  Since this is a divorce action, a default judgment would include granting you a divorce, as well as, some or all of the relief you are seeking from the court.  If you fail to properly serve your husband or if you serve him by publication alleging that you do not know his whereabouts, but it is later discovered that you did know his whereabouts, the final judgment and decree of divorce could be set aside and the case re-opened.

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