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Landing in Default in a Divorce, What You Need to Avoid if the Terms of a Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce are Against You

Nov 9, 2015 @ 12:13 PM — by Michael Green

I have had many clients choose to play passive aggressive when it comes to a divorce, only to find that they are in default and the other party can name their own terms as to child support, child custody, alimony, equitable distribution of real estate and distribution of retirement accounts.  If you are served with a complaint for divorce it is important that you answer or put in an appearance or you will be in default within 35 days of being served and the other party may go forward without you.  At that point, prior to the divorce going through, it will be necessary for you to vacate default of the divorce complaint and object to any terms that may have been served upon you in a Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce.  Generally, vacating default is liberally granted, but there may be instances where the Court does not allow it, or demands that you pay attorneys fees for vacating default.  You are far better off answering the complaint and having a Property Settlement Agreement or Matrimonial Settlement Agreement drafted with all the terms of your divorce agreed upon by the parties so that the terms do not favor the other party, as would likely be the case if a default was entered and a Notice of Proposed Judgment went through.

If you have been served with a summons and a complaint for divorce, please call us at Green & Associates at 732-390-0480 in our East Brunswick office or at 201-242-1119 in our Fort Lee office to set up a consultation immediately.  Nights and weekend appointments are available.  

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