The divorce papers were served yesterday and I need to know what happens next.
30 days to file an answer. If you do not answer, the Plaintiff can be granted a divorce without notice of the trial to the Defendant. Hire an attorney ASAP.
Agree with prior post. I would add that if you do not answer in the time allowed by law and your spouse is granted a divorce, he or she will likely get just about everything he/she asks for in the way of property, debts, alimony, child support/custody/visitation, attorney fees, etc. It is VERY dangerous for you to ignore the divorce papers you were served with! Hire an attorney immediately!
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with my colleagues. Although you may have heard that there is no such thing as a "default judgment" in divorce in Georgia (which is true), do not confuse this to mean that the case will not move on without you if you stick your head in the sand. It most assuredly will, and very little, if anything, will be resolved in your favor. Hire an attorney immediately.
Family Law Attorney
Georgia law requires that an answer must be filed within 30 days to avoid a default. However, default judgments are not available in divorce cases. As a practical matter, if you do not file an answer within 45 days, you will not be entitled to notice of any future court dates. The plaintiff (the person filing the suit) could then schedule a final hearing and obtain the relief that they want from the court.
You absolutely need to file a response or obtain the services of an attorney to do that for you. If you don't file an answer, your rights will not be protected. This is especially important if there are any disputes over custody, child support, division of marital property, etc.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If an answer is not filed, after 45 days the court can hold hearings without notice to the party that did not answer. While technically this isn't a default judgment, it's pretty much a blank check for one party to get what they want.
When papers have to be served that means there was no settlement agreement and it is a contested divorce. Both parties need lawyers in that situation.