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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23972
Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I was served with divorce papers when I was not at home.

Customer Question

I was served with divorce papers when I was not at home. There was a court date that I missed because I didn't know. His lawyer told me I need to respond to the divorce. How do I do that?
Also there is a restraining order against me with a court date coming soon. I don't have a lawyer and am currently residing in another county. I am planning to go to the court by myself. Any advise?
Thank you Sherri O'Berry
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. How did you not know about the court date and how did you find out you missed it? Are you contesting this divorce?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was served in April and since then My husband had a cancer diagnosis that left him paralyzed and we reconciled. He told me he wasn't going through with the divorce. I didn't know about a court date until I missed it. I was given a note from him to show up at what I thought was his attorney for a meeting about a restraining order filed against me. I was not told it was for a court hearing.
I called his attorney to say I was unable to make the meeting and that was when I found out what the meeting was for. He sent me the document that is at our home and I am unable to access anything since I have vacated he house.
His attorney said I need to respond to the divorce and I don't know how to do that. Or if there is a time frame since I missed the court date.
Since I didn't respond within the month time frame from when I was served is there any recourse or will the divorce be granted as on his papers?
I'm not contesting the divorce, just a box that says I need to pay him spousal support.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. You do need to file an answer and any defenses, to the divorce complaint you were served with. If you do not, his attorney could proceed and ask that you be defaulted and that what he asks for in the complaint, be granted by the Judge. This would mean the support which he is requesting. You have a legal right to object to this and advise you will not pay it and then it will be up to the Judge to decide. Now, you need to see what this hearing was about, that you missed. I say this because if action was taken by the court, the order/judgment may need to be vacated, if you can explain to the Judge why you failed to appear and that you did not get notice and want to be heard on the matter. Also, the hearing for the RO, is likely to determine if it should be put in place, so you do need to appear to contest this, if there is no basis for it. You shared that you reconciled, so I am unsure as to why he would tell his attorney to proceed and not dismiss the action and the need at this time, for the RO to be put in place.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. How do I file an answer and any defenses? The hearing was for Family resolution conference.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

The clerk of court, in the family division, should have the form for you to file out to respond. You need to answer to the allegations and respond to what he seeks and can request anything that you want or things which you object to. You also want to contact the clerk of court and see if you were already defaulted, since if you were, you would need to vacate the default. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What does vacate the default mean? Are those forms available online? I am residing abut 2 hours from San Diego
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

If you failed to respond to the complaint, the other party could have defaulted you, asking the court to enter a judgment, since no response was filed. If this happened, you want to respond, so you would need to ask the court to vacate it, so you could answer. You can all the clerk and see if they can direct you to the form on their website or through a State website, so you can respond.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!