If a respondent fails to answer a petition for divorce in the allotted time, what is the plaintiff’s recourse?

plaintiff is incarcerated in Virginia.

Asked on September 28, 2015 under Family Law, South Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The petitioner plaintiff can file a default against the respondent for failing to file a timely answer.  A default judgment means that the petitioner has won the case because the court will rule in favor of the petitioner since respondent failed to file an answer.
The respondent can file a motion to set aside the default.  If the judge rules in favor of the respondent, the case will be back on track and litigation will continue.  The respondent will have to provide a very good reason why the answer was not timely filed in order for the judge to grant the motion to set aside the default.

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