Default Judgement – NJ Divorce

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Default Judgement – NJ Divorce

What recourse do I have in a divorce when when spouse purposely witholds documents I need to sign and return? Her actions has caused me a default judgement.

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not entirely sure what's going on here -- but if your ex-wife has gotten a default judgment of divorce, on terms that aren't fair to you, by purposely withholding documents from you, you need to see a local divorce lawyer, as soon as possible.  One place to find attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com  and you should also have the summons from her divorce, that would have been served on you a few months back, that would have the contact information for your county's legal aid office and lawyer referral service.

If the default judgment isn't fair, and especially if it was obtained underhandedly, the New Jersey courts can re-open the case.  One reason that will be considered, that should help you some (but not enough all by itself, often), is that you didn't have a lawyer -- and that reason tends to be more helpful if it's being made by your "present counsel."  But they won't even look at it if you don't file the necessary papers, and the longer you wait, the harder it is to get that relief.


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