When you file for divorce, the common protocol is this: you receive papers or you file papers, and the served party has a certain number of days to respond to the divorce requests. Failure to respond to a divorce filing or having a lawyer quit in the middle of a divorce can lead to default, which is good for the filing party but not good for the respondent. Default means the case is won by the person who initially filed the claim and cannot be overturned unless the other party can prove they have not been properly served or notified of the legal divorce case.
When you've been served divorce papers, take the matter seriously and contact a divorce lawyer. Here are reasons why you don't want your divorce to default. Your lawyer will help you respond to a divorce claim and negotiate your divorce so both parties end up with equal and fair shares to children, property, and other assets.
You lose your right to negotiate
When you fail to respond to a divorce filing, the judge involved in the case will rule in favor of the other party. You want to show that you take the situation seriously so you must respond within the allotted number of days when you are served. If you don't know how to respond, simply protest to all the requests made by the other party with your lawyer's assistance, and you will be able to negotiate outside of court with the divorcing person after you've submitted your counterclaim.
You lose everything
Odds are, the other party will serve you with divorce papers with claims of what they feel is fair regarding dispersing assets, finances, child rearing, and more. This usually doesn't work out in your favor unless the other party agrees to split everything evenly. If you don't respond to the initial divorce filing, then you lose everything and the other party gets exactly what they've asked for.
If you have children, a home, and other financial assets in common, you want to be able to claim rights to these things. You can only do this in the event of a divorce if you stay active in the proceedings. Your lawyer will make sure you file responses on time and will help with all future filings and negotiations. Should your divorce go to trial, your lawyer will stand by you to make sure things go as fairly and quickly as possible.