For a default divorce to be granted, do I have to have a record that my wife was served notice of the hearing date?
I have filed for divorce and had her served by a process server, but she failed to respond within the 20-day waiting period my state’s divorce laws require.
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Texas divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
In my state, the deadline to file an answer to a petition for divorce is by 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday after the expiration of 20 days from the date your wife was served by the process server.
Once a respondent does not answer within the time period, that person is not entitled to a notice of a trial setting if the petitioner seeks a no-answer default judgment.
Therefore, since your wife has not filed an answer within the time period to file, you can seek a no-answer default judgment against her without the need to notice her of the hearing.
Keep in mind that the court shall not grant a default judgment until proof of service has been on file with the clerk for at least 10 days prior to the default judgment being taken.
Also, generally, courts cannot enter a judgment for divorce until at least 60 days after the divorce was filed. This rule also applies to default divorces, so make sure that the hearing date is at least 60 days out from when you filed your divorce petition and that the citation showing service on your wife has been on file with the court for at least 10 days prior to the hearing date as well.
If all of these requirements are met, then you should not have to notice your wife of the actual hearing if she has not filed an answer to the divorce petition, and you should be able to obtain your no-answer divorce.
Finally, to be on the safe side, I suggest that you verify that your wife has not since filed an answer that is on file with the court, because even if she may not have served you with an answer, she may have filed one with the court.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.