What if spouse doesn’t answer petition for divorce in 30 days?

Asked on July 18, 2010 under Family Law, Alabama


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The court in your state cannot issue a final divorce decree until after 30 days from the filing of the summons and complaint.  If your spouse does not respond within 30 days (usually time to respond to a civil proceeding), and the answe doesn't have to be sworn, then the court can indicate this was a divorce based on default and enter a judgment.  If the spouse (now an ex-spouse after the final decree) wishes to respond, you may be able to bring a motion to contest it though unlike traditional civil actions, the court may re-open certain items for re-hearing (like support for the spouse and children).

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