A default judgment may be entered on behalf of the petitioner when the respondent fails to reply and/or appear at a divorce proceeding. If you are attempting to have a default judgment vacated, it may be in your best interests to work with a College Station divorce attorney.
In divorce, a default judgment is binding and will be found on behalf of the petitioner. For this reason it is very important that you respond to any summons and appear in court on the date of the hearing. Having to face the fact of a divorce can be very difficult emotionally, and at times people respond in unreasoned ways, but it is very important to keep a level head. Simply ignoring a summons will not prevent the hearing, and will work against you.
Filing a Motion to Vacate the Default Judgment
It is very important that you have the opportunity to present your side during a divorce proceeding. Otherwise, you may face loss of custody of your children, and also potential loss of property that is important to you. If you wish to have a default judgment vacated, you will need to offer a compelling reason. It is worth noting that courts prefer to have both parties present in a divorce, and so your motion will be given proper consideration provided the reason for failing to respond or appear is valid. That said, it is generally not easy to have a judgment vacated once the court has made its determination.
Among reasons that may be considered by the court for a motion to vacate a default judgment are:
- You were not served with the summons. This may occur if, for instance, you moved without providing a forwarding address.
- You had an excusable reason for neglecting the summons.
- A form of fraud was involved on the part of the petitioner.
- It is in the best interests of your children that you be granted custody.
Seek Legal Assistance
It is important that you proceed with any legal matter in a manner that adheres to Texas law. You should consider, therefore, hiring a College Station divorce attorney if you are seeking to have the court vacate a default judgment. Call Peterson Law Group to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.