What conditions can a court impose onan absent spouse regarding a default judgement?

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What conditions can a court impose onan absent spouse regarding a default judgement?

My wife and I have filed divorce. She filed, and to keep it cheap, we were going to just do the default . I agree with everything in the divorce paperwork. However, several people have told me that if I do not appear before the court then at the final hearing, she can request anything she wants from the the judge; I will be out of luck. Should I spend the $200 and just say I agree with whats in the divorce as written?Can the judge just make up things like spousal support even though its not requested in the paperwork? We have been married for 6 years. Filing IREC. She doesn’t want my retirement or spousal support. Out of the $20k debt, I am taking $18K.

Asked on February 4, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is really never a good idea to allow a court to enter a default judgement agent you on any issue, and probably more so in a matrimonial action.  Generally speaking, a judge can not do more than issue a divorce to your wife.  If they do not have what is known as jurisdiction over you (and appearing in the action gives them that) then they can not decide ancillary issues such as distribution of assets, etc.  But who wants to take that chance?  I do not understand what you mean by "spend the $200."  You can either file an answer or some states allow you to file an appearance and waive answering and consent to the matter.  But really you should seek legal help, especially when there are issues of pensions, etc.  Good luck.


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