A client called my office today seeking advice regarding a default judgment he received in Montgomery, Alabama divorce proceedings. My client(Mr. X), received a default divorce judgment in Montgomery County after failing to respond to a divorce complaint within the required 30 day time period. When you receive an Alabama divorce complaint, you only have thirty days to respond. If you do not respond, a default judgment will be rendered against you. This basically means that the pleadings in the divorce complaint are taken as true, and most times, the petitioner will get everything they seek in the divorce. Thus, it is very important, if you wish contest any portion of the divorce complaint, that you respond within the time period allotted.
Fortunately, Mr X has recourse. An intelligent Alabama Divorce Lawyer looks for any way he might be able to challenge the default judgment. In this case, Mr. X did not receive notice of the divorce proceedings, and he has jurisdictional challenges as well. Mr. X and his soon to be ex-wife, are military personnel and move around a lot. Mr. X's ex, moved to Montgomery, Alabama from Indiana just two months after Mr. X filed for a divorce in Indiana. Sneaky Mrs. X then filed for an Alabama divorce in Montgomery County after coming to Alabama and while the Indiana proceedings were underway. Thus, an Alabama divorce court does not have jurisdiction over the divorce, and Mr. X can have the default judgment set aside on jurisdictional grounds. Basically, the Alabama domestic relations or family law court, did not have the power to enter a judgment in this case.
Mr. X can also challenge the Alabama divorce judgment on grounds he did not receive notice of the divorce. Every Alabama divorce petitioner must give notice of the divorce proceedings to the party they are trying to divorce. If the divorce petitioner(the one who files the Alabama divorce complaint) does not give notice of the proceedings to the one they are trying to divorce, any divorce proceeding is invalid, and can be set aside.