Motion for Default Florida Divorce
A Motion for Default Florida Divorce is governed for Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.140. Rule 12.140 clearly states that unless the court or the parties mutually agree to an enlargement of the amount of time the Respondent has to reply, “a respondent [person being served with divorce papers, and the person that did not initiate the divorce) MUST serve a response within 20 days after service of original process (there is an affidavit of service created when you are served with divorce papers for official court records).
The law (with my comments mixed in) further provides that the initial pleading served on the respondent, demands a reply not later than the date fixed in a notice by publication (if the respondent cannot be served by traditional means, publication may be made in a publication of general circulation). After 20 days have elapsed (not ending on a weekend or a legal holiday per the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure), a petitioner may file a motion for default Florida divorce.
A motion for default Florida divorce is a filing that alleges the respondent has failed to file a response (papers). An answer to a dissolution of marriage pleading confirms the facts or requests made in the petition, or contests them by denial. If a motion for default Florida divorce is granted, the Court will likely render an Order giving the petitioner everything he or she has requested (unless totally unreasonable or unlawful) in his/her petition for dissolution.
Requirements for Motion for Default Florida
Certain minimum requirements exist before the court may grant a motion for default. Namely, service of process must be lawfully made to satisfy due process concerns. An affidavit of service or an affidavit of diligent search must be provided to the court to verify every effort has been made to alert the respondent of the lawsuit filed against them. If the petitioner’s motion for default Florida divorce remains uncontested (appeals can be filed in limited circumstances to overturn an order of/for default), the court order will grant the petitioner’s petition as plead unless some portion is not legally cognizable.
Time to Respond to Counterpetition Florida Divorce
If or when a respondent files a counterpetition, the petitioner then must serve a response to a counterpetition within 20 days after service of the counterpetition. A motion for default Florida divorce can be made by the petitioner or the counterpetitioner. This part of the Rule mirrors the Rule provided above relating to an initial petition for dissolution of marriage and the time given for a respondent to answer. Per the language of the Rule, if a reply is required, the reply must be served within 20 days after service of the response. A counterpetition in a Florida divorce case alleges the respondent’s own legal allegations and requests of/from the court.
For example, if petitioner asks for majority timesharing with the kids, the counterpetitioner may ask for majority timesharing in his/her counterpetition. This is a prelude to resolving the case by expressing the parties’ positions on reaching a settlement or arguing before the court at trial.
There are certain defenses that a party may plead to temporarily toll the time required for an answer to a petition or a counterpetition. You may wish to research the Rule to help you better understand your rights and obligations.
Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce lawyer Orlando and a divorce lawyer Clermont Florida that seeks to help clients understand the Rules of the Florida family court(s). The divorce process is labyrinthine, so why not consult with a legal professional? An attorney with the Jacobs Law Firm is waiting for your call.