Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
If the parties have a signed agreement that addresses all liabilities and assets, plus any issues related to minor children or support, only one of them must attend the final hearing (or send a lawyer). When the parties haven't agreed and the judge is holding a trial, a respondent who does not appear is likely to not get anything he or she is asking for, so that tends to be a very risky strategy. The party who is choosing not to appear at the hearing also needs to really trust the other spouse, too, that they won't try to pull anything at the last minute and change the separation agreement, seek to invalidate it, or introduce new issues that weren't thought of. It's unfortunate, but it does happen.
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