Can my ex-husband appeala final divorce decision by the judge,if he defaulted?

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Can my ex-husband appeala final divorce decision by the judge,if he defaulted?

I filed for divorce in 10/10. He was served by the sheriff dept. but he did not respond within 30 days as required. I filed the proof of service and request for default. I had my hearing 02/28/11 and the judge awarded me full physical custody of our 4 children and a “move away”. She allowed the move away due to the limited child support and he hadn’t paid the mortgage in 2 months. My mother offered for myself and my children to move into her 4 bedroom house in MA rent free, and the judge said yes. Can my now ex-husband contest or appeal the judgment? Should Imove ASAP?

Asked on March 9, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

All an attorney can tell you is that you may act on the order of the Court as permitted unless and until the order is reversed or unless the order is stayed pending the hearing on the request for reversal.  The procedural technicalities differ from the way that I phrased the above. What he needs to do is not appeal but vacate the default and request that the Judge hear the case on the merits.  Can he?  Sure, he can file a motion to vacate.  Will he be granted the motion?  It depends on his reasons for default and the proof required in a divorce action (in general civil actions you need a meritorious defense).  I will say that courts in general do not like taking kids from their parents and letting them move across the country denying one parent easy access to them.  So act accordingly here.  Good luck to you.


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