What to do if my husband went behind my back to court?

He told me we would forget about the divorce papers because he still loved me and wanted to be with me. I got divorce papers saying that he showed up and he is the designated residential parent. I never even got to defend myself and I didn’t get a lawyer before because he said we was going to work things out. Also, I don’t have money since he took $5,000 out of my account that he said to leave in there. I was just stupid to trust that he wouldn’t do that. Finally, I am pregnant and due the 16th of this month. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You really need to get an attorney to help you file a response to any orders that have been entered.  If you didn't sign an agreed divorce decree and if you didn't get notice of a final hearing, then you have a good basis for contesting the entry of any orders.  You may also be able to get some of the $5000.00 returned if you take him back to court and get the order reversed with a motion for a new trial.  If you are pregnant with his child, then you need to make sure that support for that child is addressed in a new order... most courts will not finalize a divorce while a wife is pregnant.. so it's very odd that he was able to get anything finalized. 

It also sounds like you are short on funds, but you need to start looking for one.  Let an attorney know about the $5000.00.  Some may offer to do the work in exchange for you signing over your half of that $5000.00.  Another option is to look for a pro bono or reduced fee attorney.  Most jurisdictions have legal aid clinics or programs that offer free or inexpensive legal services to people who cannot afford regular representation.  Start by asking the clerk of the court for any information about free legal clinics or programs.  You can also do online research for these programs to see what is available in your area.

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