What Happens In A Divorce Default Hearing?


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Iris Phillips answered
If a divorce has been requested, and one of the two parties refuses to sign the divorce petition or other legal documents involved, a default divorce hearing may be set after 61 days of failure to respond by this party. When a default hearing has been set, it is important to remember a list of documents which have to be taken to the hearing. These documents include:
  • The Decree of dissolution, order of annulment or legal separation
  • Two copies of the above
  • A completed judgment data sheet if spousal maintenance is requested
If the case involves children, the following documents also need to be provided:
  • Parent Information Program Certification, unless already filed
  • Signed parenting plan and two copies
  • Child Support worksheet, completed, with two copies
  • Order of assignment, with two copies
  • Additional completed judgment data sheets
  • Pay stubs, or other wage information for both parties
  • Other financial information, such as cost of child care or medical insurance
  • A 9x12 envelope, addressed to the second party; three postage stamps
  • Children's birth certificates
  • Copies of previous child support orders
If all issues are agreed on, a Consent Decree may be submitted. The resulting answer to this depends on the participating judge. This also applies to what happens at a default hearing in general. If the other party appears and objects to the default, a judge may either ask a few questions and then decide to adjourn the meeting to give the other party time to hire an attorney, or he may proceed with the meeting.

If a decision to proceed with the hearing has been made, the judge will ask a series of questions regarding circumstances and facts involved in the case, and jurisdictional issues. He will then determine whether the requested relief is appropriate and, if so, may enter an order.

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