If my spouse filed for a divorce knowing whereI was and told the judge that she didn’t know, can I ask for a rehearing?

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If my spouse filed for a divorce knowing whereI was and told the judge that she didn’t know, can I ask for a rehearing?

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Family Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you weren't served with the petition for divorce, you never had notice and could not have filed an answer within the time set forth in the summons.  A default judgment was then entered against you and you can file a motion to set aside the default because you were never served and never had notice and a chance to file a timely answer.

If your wife claimed not to know your whereabouts, then you would have had to have been served by publication which means running notice of the divorce filing in the legal notices section of a newspaper for a requisite period of time which varies from state to state.  If your wife didn't know your whereabouts and you didn't see the notice in the newspaper, it is valid service by publication.

Since your wife knew your whereabouts, she could not serve you by publication.  Since you were not served by a process server, the marshal or certified mail, you did not have notice and you should have a hearing on that issue to set aside the default judgment.


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