If spouse doesn't answer divorce petition

What happens if I serve my spouse with divorce papers and he doesn’t respond? Does he have to respond? How long do I have to wait? How long do I have to wait for a court date? Do I have to let him know of a court date? Will I still be granted an absolute divorce? I want to speed this up as much as possible for safety reasons.

After being served with the divorce complaint, the opposing party has 30 days to respond or otherwise plead. If he responds before the time expires, you may be able to set your divorce hearing more quickly. If he does not respond, you have to wait for the expiration of the time to set the hearing. You can refer to our divorce guide for assistance with the next steps for filing on your own.

If safety is a concern, you should consider seeking a domestic violence protective order. We have the DVPO forms on our website and as well as instructions for completing the forms.