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Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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I am the respondant to a divorce and I contested it. I now

Customer Question

I am the respondant to a divorce and I contested it. I now want to uncontest it. I don''t want to attend the hearings or take any part in it. I just want to allow for my default. Can I do that? What forms do I need, or how would I go about doing it? The first court date was today and I did not attend. I got a call from the judge who said he was going to fine me for not going. What can I do to just allow my own default without having to appear in court?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 9 years ago.

DearCustomer- No one can make you fight the divorce however judges do not appreciate it when a party simply does not show up for a hearing. I assume you filed an answer in this case if you are the defendant. You can file a written withdrawal of the answer and state that you no longer wish to contest the allegations in the complaint.

The judge may require you to appear at least one more time to testify that this is your desire. I cannot imagine that the judge is going to make you continue your contest of this action. If that happens all you can do is attend and keep your mouth shut. I have never in all my years of practice seen a judge force someone to contest a divorce and I'm quite certain you won't have to either.

David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dave Kennett's Post: I was told I cannot do this in the state of New Mexico. I did file response to the divorce but I was told by the county clerk's office that once the court dates are set, I must attend. I was not told that there is any way I can withdrawl my reponse and uncontest the divorce at this point. I was told in fact, that I cannot do that. I've just been looking for a clear answer because I'm getting different responses from everywhere. Can I, or can I not withdrawl my contestment to the divorce in the state of New Mexico?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 9 years ago.

Frankly I can find no law anywhere that would force a defendant to fight any court case. It may be that you have to show up and when asked questions you can just say you don't want anything from the divorce and that you agree with everything that the other side is saying.

This is really absurd in that the court is totally wasting time with all this. The clerk is probably correct that you must attend but certainly when you do attend you can tell the court you are not contesting anything about the case and that you agree with the other side. The court can't make you say something contrary to what you want.

I would simply go to the next hearing and state your case to the judge. It may be that this court does not permit a written withdrawal in this situation which means you at least have to appear even if you don't want to contest anything. Nobody, the judge, clerk or lawyer can make you testify to something just because you are in court.

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dave Kennett's Post: So you don't know New Mexico laws then? I want someone who can tell me what the law in New Mexico is in regards XXXXX XXXXX That is the main question I am asking here. I need to know if, or how I can lose by default in the state of NM. I do not want to attend the court dates at all. It is against my religious beliefs so I really need a clear answer about this. I have not found any information, or was ever told of any form here in NM where I can withdrawl my response. I just need to know if there really is one that exists or not? I know very well that I can go and not say anything. I know they can't force me to say something I don't want to. But the thing is, I need to know how to get out of not even going at all, if there is a possible way to get out of it? Can you answer these questions for me? This has been a very discouraging experience of not getting clear answers from anywhere today. I just need clear answers regarding NEW MEXICO laws. I thought by paying for it I'd have better luck but I am not.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I want other experts to answer my question. I am not getting the answers I need from this expert.