When you fail to timely enter an appearance or respond to a divorce petition filed against you, a default judgment may be entered against you. By entering a default judgment, the court has determined that although you were provided with an opportunity to respond to the divorce petition and participate in the proceedings, you failed to do so. As a result, the court has concluded that it has no choice but to award the petitioner – your spouse who filed the divorce petition – the relief he or she requested in the petition.
Some divorcing spouses cannot wait to separate and move on with their lives, but most understand that it is necessary to let the other spouse know where they are initially living so that the divorce can be finalized. But what happens when your spouse disappears without leaving a forwarding address, telephone number, or other means of contacting him or her? Must your plans for divorce be put on the back burner if your spouse is missing in action?