If I received a “Scheduling Order” for a final hearing on an uncontested divorce and live in another state, do I need to attend?

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If I received a “Scheduling Order” for a final hearing on an uncontested divorce and live in another state, do I need to attend?

The Scheduling Order does state that all parties are ordered to appear, but I have been reassured by the Plaintiff that her legal advisor said I do not need to be present. What is my legal obligation?

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am not one of those trusting parties to a litigation unless I have something in writing, like a stipulation in a case.  So I would say to err on the side of appearing.  What you received was part of the whole divorce process in New jersey.  It is a Case Management Conference where a scheduling order will be entered in to by the parties.  Even though the matter is uncontested the court may indeed schedule the discover warranted.  If you are not present then you are subject to the time constraints and appearance dates listed in the order.  Many time orders are entered in to ex parte - with only one side present.  But it is risky.  It may be a good conference to attend and to speak with your case manager and explain that it is uncontested and that it is difficult to appear all the time.  If the paperwork is going to be submitted as agreed do you need t appear at every conference?  Can you appear via phone conference?  Be up front at the start.  It will put you in a better light.  Good luck.


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