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Lisa M.
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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  I have been a family, real estate and income tax attorney for over 2 years.
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My soon-to-be-ex husband decided to call into the court during

Customer Question

My soon-to-be-ex husband decided to call into the court during my Default Divorce hearing to participate after not hearing a word from him for three months. He abandoned a Spousal Support claim that he'd filed against me, he abandoned his child for the last three months, moved out of state, made no contact with us and filed no legal documents with the court. Yet the judge has granted him until August 6th to file a motion to set aside the default and dispute the contents of the divorce papers.. How difficult will it be for him to file this motion from out of state (he is in Arizona, the papers must be filed in NJ), with no legal help? Also, if he does manage to file the papers on time, what are his chances of being granted alimony or with challanging custody (he does not work).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lisa M. replied 5 years ago.
DearCustomer

I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. Divorces are difficult situations, even in the best case scenarios.

The answer to your question is simple. Your soon to be ex husband can file the papers by mail. Therefore, that part will be fairly easy for him. However, he still will have to make a good argument for 1)why he did not file his motions in the first place and 2) that he has good grounds to overturn the default. This is going to be tricky for him. Not impossible, but difficult.

Your second question concerns alimony and custody. He will also have a fight on his hands. If he has not seen his child for three months and has made no attempts to remain in contact, it will be difficult for him to argue that he deserves custody of his child. However, if there are extenuating circumstances that you are not discussing, that could change things. Your child's best interests are at stake. The court is going to see that he abandoned his child for three months. Statutorily that's an insufficient basis to deny custody, but it's going to help you regardless.

Additionally, the need for alimony will need to be proved.If he was a stay at home dad, his chances will be better. If he quit his job, his chances will be poor. Since the court is allowing him to dispute the divorce papers, he may have a chance. Again, he will need to prove that his disregard of the original papers was forgiveable, so to speak.

Hopefully, my answer has helped you out. Your soon to be ex has an uphill battle. However, his ability to overcome these things are based on your particular circumstances. If you don't have a local attorney, you should hire one.

Good luck.
Lisa M.
Thank you for your JustAnswer request. Please be advised that since each State has different laws, I am not able to give you a complete answer that a local attorney may provide. Additionally, this answer does not constitute legal advice and there no attorney-client relationship between us. You understand that Lisa M. is providing this information for the sole purpose of helping you to seek and find legal counsel in your particular state.

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Lisa M.
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I have been a family, real estate and income tax attorney for over 2 years.