If no answer was timelyfiled in a contested divorce, what are the options?

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If no answer was timelyfiled in a contested divorce, what are the options?

I filed for divorce but my wife did not answer. Court switched it from contested to uncontested and scheduled a final hearing date next Tuesday. Wife called today saying that she is going to file for a continuance. What are the chances she gets it?

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

Rob MacKenna / The MacKenna Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In a divorce action, she is very likely to get the continuance.  Unlike most other civil actions, the courts are very reluctant to proceed without the participation of both spouses if they have indicated that they wish to do so (by filing some sort of response).  That goes double if there are any children involved and the court will be called upon to decide custody, visitation, child support, and so on.  That being said, it also depends on the court and the individual judge assigned to the case.  You should consult an attorney famliar with the practiced in whichever county you have filed the action in for more information and advice.

 

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Courts generally like for all parties to appear in an actionand that matters proceed on the merits rather than "on default" which is when one party does not answer.  This way a party can not come back later and open up the default and ask the court to proceed in the matter.  That just undoes a case that has been completed.  So I think that her chances may be good if she come sin and asks the court for an opportunity to obtain counsel and to appear in the action and dispute the allegations against her.  In the end it is really best for you as well.  Courts may also grant only the acutal dissolution of the marriage and not decide any distribution of assets if a party does not appear.  It can happen.  Good luck.


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