• Andrea Fox

Have You Been Served?

"You've been served." The words no one likes to hear. The party who was served has 21 days to file an official response to the initial paperwork. But what happens if that response is not filed? Default!

If a party has not filed a response to initial court paperwork within 21 days after being served, plus three days for mailing, the party who filed the initial paperwork can enter default against the other party.

To enter a default, the party who filed the lawsuit just has to file a "Request for Entry of Default" with the clerk of court in the jurisdiction in which they filed the original lawsuit, and provide an "Entry of Default" for the clerk to sign. With the "Request to Enter Default," the requesting party must provide valid proof of service. The Clerk will then enter the default of the responding party.

Once default is entered, the party who filed the lawsuit can request that the Court enter a judgment in their favor. The defaulted party can come in later and file a "Motion to Set Aside Default," and sometimes those are granted, sometimes they are not. If the motion is granted, the responding party can file their response and the matter will proceed as if nothing happened. If not, the default judgment stands.

Basically, if you have been served - file a response ASAP. There are DIY resources, or you can get in touch with an experienced Kalispell divorce lawyer to help you with the process.

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