What happens if I do not appear in court?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What happens if I do not appear in court?

I am the defendant in a divorce case. My husband and I have been separated for
over 6 years now. We have no property or children together. He filed for an
Absolute Divorce in the state of Maryland on June 14th. I apparently filled out
the paperwork to be sent back to the courts wrong and an Order of Default was
entered against me on 9/20. I have since received a Notice to Appear document. I
am 3 hours away and CANNOT make it to see the Magistrate on the court date.

Am I required to be at that court date? What happens if I do not go? I am not
contesting the divorce. I am all for it I wish he had done it sooner.

Please reply at your earliest convenience. I appreciate you taking the time to
assist in my dilema.

Asked on October 6, 2016 under Family Law, Virginia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you don't appear in court after receiving a notice to appear, the judge will probably issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
You should call the court as soon as possible and inquire if you can make a telephone appearance instead of being physically present.  If you are allowed to make a telephone appearance, ask the court clerk which documents you need to file to request a telephone appearance and the filing deadline. 
If you don't file the request for telephone appearance before the deadline, your request will be denied.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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