I would like legal advice to see if there is such a thing as "divorce by default".

Asked over 1 year ago - 94577

I filed for divorce in the state of Nevada by a paralegal and he mailed the divorce decree to my estranged husband by mail a year and a half ago and he has continually refused to sign off on the document. There is no communication between us and everything is communicated through our Son. I have not been physically, nor live with my estranged husband for over 7 years. We separated in 2006. I never filed for legal separation because I was unaware of it. He has never supported me or his Son, who is now 21 years old. I was the sole supporter for myself and my son all those years we've separated. How can I get a legally binding divorce without spending any more money. I have already paid the paralegal $750.00 for the divorce papers. Is there such a thing called "divorce by default"?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Roy C Ching

    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes there is. To start you must have served your husband, and assuming he has not responded in court for over 30 days, you can proceed to obtain a judgment by default. This can be a difficult process as there are a number of forms needed and requirements in connection with what you have to have served on your husband and you have to file in support of your proposed judgement.

  2. Scheherazade B Rastegar-Djavahery

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In answer to your question, yes, there is such a thing as default divorce. Here is a link to learn more: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1233.htm. Good luck.

  3. Eric Jerome Gold


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My colleagues are correct, you can obtain a judgment of divorce by default. I understand that it may be frustrating that you paid a paralegal to attempt this for you. It would be prudent to consult with a local family law attorney to complete the process. You can locate an attorney by contacting the local bar association or by using the Avvo Find a Lawyer tool. Good luck.

    ** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client... more
  4. John Noah Kitta

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You got exactly what you should have anticipated, $750 worth of paralegal advice. It sounds as if the paperwork was prepared and sent to your husband for his acknowledgment and receipt and he never acknowledged by receipt and no further action was taken. If he was never personally served or served by publication and he’s never received notice of a Dissolution action you do not have the ability to default him or take a Judgment against him anyway whatsoever. You will need legal counsel to step in and take appropriate action.

    If you have found this information helpful, please let the attorney know by marking best answer. Thank you.... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree on relevant issues such as division of property, child custody/support, and alimony.

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