What Happens In A Divorce If One Side Refused To Appear?

A divorce complaint is filed and served on the other spouse.  Service is accomplished usually by a process server. Proof of service is filed with the Court.  If the Defendant does not get an attorney and does not answer, what happens? The Defendant is required to file an Answer to the divorce Complaint within 35 days.  If he or she does not, the party is in Default.  You can still get a divorce if the other party defaults.  Many people worry that they cannot get a divorce if the other person does not show up.  

A Request to Enter default and Notice of Proposed Final Judgment will be filed. The matter will be scheduled for a proof hearing.  In the interim, your attorney will work with you to gather the information needed for the divorce such as equitable distribution, support, custody, all of the issues concerning dissolution of the marriage.  

The proof hearing will require giving detailed testimony with evidence before the Court as to your proposed resolution of all of the issues. Income information of both parties, identification and valuation of assets such as the house, cars, pensions, debts will be given to the Court. A custody plan will be introduced and any special problems will be put into the record.  Provisions concerning alimony, child support, health insurance, life insurance will be reviewed.  

Once you have provided the necessary testimony and evidence, the Court will grant the divorce and will order relief as to the issues ad-dressed in the proof hearing.

For a free half hour consultation call Helfand & Associates at 973-428-0800, 0ur experienced matrimonial attorneys, handling all aspects of Family Law.

Tanya N. Helfand, Esq. is a Certified Matrimonial Attorney, a Mediator and Panelist in the Morris and Essex County ESP Programs.  The firm welcomes your questions and inquiries at [email protected]. We handle cases in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Hudson, Union, Somerset, Sussex and other New Jersey counties.