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He did have to attend the hearing.
That's why I threw that caveat in there - - some judges are apprehensive to default a person in a dissolution of marriage case, for some reason. I don't think there's a legal requirement for him to appear if he chooses not to do so, but the judge can have his/her own opinion about the issue and can continue the case and get him there.
Hopefully. the judge issued a subpoena for him to appear at the next court date, which will compel his appearance.