What Happens at a Divorce Default Hearing?

At a hearing requesting a default judgment of divorce, the petitioner typically must detail the efforts made to notify the other party about the divorce, submit paperwork about child custody, child or spousal support, or a division of marital property or debt, and sometimes submit certain local forms required by the court, explains FindLaw. After a waiting period and perhaps another hearing, the judge typically signs off on the default judgement of divorce.

A default judgment of divorce is the last step in finalizing an uncontested divorce. The process for obtaining a default judgment varies by state, but the basics are similar across states, notes FindLaw. Many courts provide self-help services to enable petitioners to satisfy any specific local paperwork requirements for a default hearing.

Most courts require the petitioner to wait at least 60 days after serving the spouse with divorce papers before requesting a default hearing. For example, if a spouse fails to respond to the divorce petition in writing in Maricopa County, Arizona, within 60 days, the petitioner can file an application and affidavit of default with the clerk of the court, explains the Judicial Branch of Arizona. After waiting 10 more days after serving the application and affidavit, the petitioner can request a default hearing date, provided the spouse still hasn't responded.