A default divorce in Minnesota and in this country is when the respondent doesn’t respond to the petition or appear in court as requested. This is perfectly legal, but it isn’t in their best interest.
In a Minnesota divorce, one spouse known as the petitioner files for divorce. They must adequately serve their spouse, known as the respondent, who is expected to respond within thirty days. This usually happens. When it doesn’t, it often becomes a default divorce.
An Uncontested Divorce
Sometimes both parties will agree to the terms listed in the divorce papers. This is called an uncontested divorce because no one is contesting anything. Even though these divorces are quite simple and straightforward, it is still essential to have legal guidance to ensure you are protected long-term.
A Default Divorce
A default divorce is when the respondent doesn’t respond to the petition for divorce within thirty days of the summons. They not only don’t sign any paperwork, but they also don’t appear in court as requested. This is perfectly legal, but it isn’t in their best interest. Since they never responded to tell the court their side of things, the court gives the petitioner everything they have asked for—by default.
It isn’t as easy when children are involved.
If minor children are involved or if the respondent has made an appearance but hasn’t sufficiently addressed the petitioner’s issues, the court will give the respondent 50 days to make their case before granting a default hearing in these situations. Whereas with no children and no response, the divorce can be granted with no hearing at all.
What if I don’t want a divorce?
Some people think that they can delay or even stop the divorce from happening by ignoring the divorce petition. Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, so a person doesn’t even have to have a reason to get divorced. If your spouse wants out of the marriage, you can’t keep them in it.
Protecting Your Rights
The Courts want to protect the rights of everyone involved: petitioner, respondent, and minor children. This is why they give the respondent time to respond. If you waive those rights, you will be giving up having any say in your divorce outcome.
The best way to protect your rights is to have an experienced attorney on your side. White & Associates will ensure that you get a fair outcome. Contact us today.