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AttorneyKaren
AttorneyKaren, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  Over 14 years as a Family Law Attorney; Temporary Judge Award (2008)
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I was not served I was in South Africa I have not been back

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I was not served I was in South Africa I have not been back to USA since 2006 after Katrina, I found out that I was divorced through a freind who was a property agent & advised me of details that the home was to be repossessed by the bank. I then asked a freind to look into the matter from the USA side and she advised & sent me copies of the divorce papers.My ex husband advised his lawyer that he had no knowledge of where I was & could not locate me which was a lie as he had been to South Africa to visit on 3 occassions, bought & signed for the delivery of the furniture to set up home in South Africa, plus signed the lease for the apartment that I now reside in.I was not present at the divorce as I was not notified, his attorney advised that a notice was placed in the Sun Herald in MS which did not help me in SOuth Africa as I was here waiting for my husband to advise me & he lied under oath that he did not know where I was & I had abandoned him. I have documentation to prove that he was aware of my whereabouts plus had my address , phone number at work & my mobile number at all times. He even phoned me last year at work & I have the recording. I would appreciate your urgent reply as he is in Louisianna at present but due to leave to go off-shore about 20 April 2009 as he works for halliburton and is basd on the West Coast of Africa. Much appreciate- Thank you

Hello and thank you for your question.

Since you were never served with your divorce, you can file a motion with the court to have this divorce set aside. You would have to prove that the results would have been different if you were to participate in the divorce.

I would suggest that you contact an attorney for a consultation in the city and county where this divorce was filed, and ask for them to review your divorce and advise whether it would be in your best interests to set this aside and to start the divorce up again.

Best wishes here,

AttorneyKaren

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.. Can this only be done thru an attorney in MS or can it be handled by an attorney in South Africa who could possibly send it in an overnight postage courier service? Must it be presented by hand at the Chancery Court in MS or can it be mailed to them from an attorney here in SA?. Are there special forms to complete for this or do we just write a letter requesting the divorce to be set aside. and who do we address it to? The judge that passed the divorce or just the Chancery Court? How much time do we have to have the divorce set aside? If I get an attorney in MS to represent me do I have to be there when it goes to court or can he stand in for me as from SA to MS the flight alone for me would be costly round R20,000 I appreciate all your help and you have been fanatastic. I have a bit more clarity now but just need these final bits cleared up and then I am sure I will know what to do & how to handle the matter in a better way.Thank you

Thank you for your follow-up questions.

 

1. Your question: Can this only be done thru an attorney in MS or can it be handled by an attorney in South Africa who could possibly send it in an overnight postage courier service?

Answer: You need to have a licensed attorney in MS file this for you.

2. Your question: Must it be presented by hand at the Chancery Court in MS or can it be mailed to them from an attorney here in SA?

Answer: Your attorney in MS can file this for you directly at the court.

3. Your question: Are there special forms to complete for this or do we just write a letter requesting the divorce to be set aside. and who do we address it to?

Answer: A set aside motion is pleading--a document generated by the attorney with points and authorities that relate to your case and persuade the Judge to set your case aside based on your facts.

4. Your question: How much time do we have to have the divorce set aside?

Answer: The date used for non service is the date you found out about the divorce. You need to speak with the attorney in MS to make sure that your motion is timely--usually they give you about 6 months--but I would file as soon as possible.

5. The attorney in MS can appear for you and you can request that you are allowed to teleponically appear--make sure to bring this to the MS attorney's attention, so they can ask the court for permission or a special request form may be needed in this court's jurisdiction.

Good luck on your case here,

AttorneyKaren

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