February 11, 2021

What You Need to Know About Default Divorce in Florida

One of the defining differences between divorce law in Florida and other states is its no-fault terms. It means you are not required to provide evidence for adultery, abuse, and other reasons to forward your case. You can even expect your case to be granted in just 20 calendar days, mostly if the defendant ignores the petition and doesn’t respond. These terms give you the opportunity to get a default divorce. But what exactly does it entail, and how does it benefit you? 

This article will discuss different queries and their corresponding answers about default divorces in Florida. Take this as an opportunity to move on with your case and get the legal solutions you need. This way, you can live out your new life on your own terms.

What Happens When My Case Falls Into Default? 

Forwarding your default divorce case means you can continue the proceedings without the other party. The Court can even do this without conducting a hearing, and the defaulted party cannot be allowed notice in future court hearings and other legal processes. You just need to consult with an experienced attorney to guarantee you meet all the requirements for your divorce case. 

Typically, you can fall into either a clerk default or judicial default divorce. Clerk default happens when the other party doesn’t answer back in any form to the served petition. On the other hand, judicial default occurs when the party cannot defend against your claims. The Court is effectively in your favor because once default status is claimed, your account can be deemed legitimate. In other words, it’s like the defendant pleads guilty to all your claims. 

The only chance the other party has to attest to the case is when a judicial default is forwarded, requiring notice of hearing served and a chance at Court for the defaulted party to plead against the default divorce. 

How Do I Overturn a Default Divorce in Florida? 

Setting aside a default divorce can be possible, but it’s a generally tedious process. Additionally, every case has various circumstances and can be mishandled if not done properly. 

You have to work closely with your law firm and ensure they are well-versed in Florida law to succeed, especially since overturning requires excusable neglect, a meritorious defense, and due diligence. Read the following definitions to understand better what it takes to overturn a default judgment: 

1. Excusable neglect

Excusable neglect means the defaulted party must give a legitimate reason why they didn’t respond to the summons within the 20-day period. Typically, most of the accused put forward medical-based reasons, such as hospital stay in an intensive care unit. The reasoning cannot be simply a lack of legal knowledge; it must be something compelling to the Court and presented well by an experienced attorney. 

2. Meritorious defense

Presenting a meritorious defense must meet the requirements of Florida law, made in a pleading or affidavit, and drafted professionally. Anything otherwise can mean the default shall remain recognized. It’s best to coordinate with a law firm for further assistance. 

3. Due diligence

Due diligence means the defaulted party is now committed to cooperating after learning about the default divorce case. Remember that the case’s facts can fail since there’s no singular outcome for overturning default cases. The attorney must be equipped with legal expertise to set aside the divorce case. 


Dealing with default divorce can be challenging, especially if you handle this by yourself. Fortunately, you now have a better understanding of what to expect. You just need the right legal professional to oversee your case and represent you. Seek help from an experienced law firm today. 

Dorsey Law Firm offers the best legal services in Jacksonville, enabling you to handle your divorce case easily. We can also provide you with assistance for criminal law and personal injury concerns. Call us through (904) 394-2865 or schedule your online appointment to find out how we can help you. 


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