If my divorce paperswere dismissed due to a failure to appear, canI getthem reinstated or must they be re-filed?

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If my divorce paperswere dismissed due to a failure to appear, canI getthem reinstated or must they be re-filed?

We have been trying to get this done for 5 years due to multiple complications. We agree on everything. We were told that we could turn in our packet without a hearing, due to our MSA. We turned it in but he missed signing a paper. I picked up the papers, mailed them to FL, he signed and sent them back, and then I dropped them off. About 3 weeks later I got a dismissal notice for an FTA. Can we get it reinstated or do we have to refile? If we do have to get them re-filed, where can we file them? Can he file in FL (the waiting period is much shorter)? We have 1 child who has always lived in CA.

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You both need to sit down with an attorney in California and get this moving along. By failing to have an attorney watch the filing deadlines, you run into this situation over and over and at some point, the court will simply refuse to hear your matter. You need to talk to a lawyer jointly, sign waivers indicating you agree to joint representation, file a negotiated agreement, and have the court bless it, give a final divorce decree and child support order (since the child is in California, the California court should have jurisdiction without issue). The Court has strict deadlines and when there is an issue with improperly filed paperwork, the clerk really has no choice but to kick it back. Now, as to the issue of refiling or re-instatement, you might be able to have it simply reheard but your divorce attorney will have the legal knowledge to get it done. He or she may explain to you and your spouse that the spouse who lives in Florida must come in for the court hearing but understand that would be if the court will not allow for appearance by telephone.


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