South Jersey Divorce Attorneys Q&A on Default Judgments: Do I Have to Get Divorced If I Don’t Want To?May 24, 2012
By Jamie E. Galemba, Esquire
—–Sometimes the desire to end a marriage and obtain a divorce is not mutual between the spouses. One spouse may want to avoid divorce, or simply delay it, for a various reasons. One spouse may be financially dependent on the other; he or she may still be emotionally connected to the other; or that spouse may wish to prolong an unhappy marriage “out of spite”. Whatever the reason, when one party wants to end the marriage, a judgment for divorce is inevitable and unavoidable. Attempts to avoid a divorce by simply ignoring the situation will not be successful. The South Jersey divorce attorneys at Adinolfi & Lieberman have represented countless clients whose estranged spouses were less than cooperative in a New Jersey divorce proceeding, as well as parties to a divorce who ignored the situation until a default was entered and their initial right to participate was lost. We can help in both situations.
Divorce Q&A: If my spouse files for divorce and I don’t want to get divorced, can I slow things down by doing nothing?
Although it takes two people to get married, it only takes one person to get a divorce. Even if you do not want a divorce, once your spouse files for divorce, you have to take action to protect your rights. Once you have been properly served with a divorce complaint, the judicial clock begins to tick. You only have 35 days from the date of service to respond to that complaint, and if you fail to do so, the Court can designate you to be in “default” status. Once in default, same can only be vacated by consent of the other party or by application to the Court. Either route may cost you otherwise unnecessary counsel fees. So, if a default is entered against you, you must act quickly to preserve your litigation rights. If you fail to do, your spouse can request a Final Judgment hearing by Court Rule. If you are in default, you will have a limited right to testify at such a hearing, and the Court will base its decision solely on the testimony and evidence presented by your spouse. In other words, you will not have your “day in court.” Therefore, while you may still want to reconcile with your spouse, the best way to protect your rights once a complaint has been filed is to be proactive and ensure that all of the appropriate pleadings are filed on your behalf. Contact a divorce attorney who will make sure that your side is heard.
Contact a South Jersey Divorce Attorney at Adinolfi & Lieberman to Protect Your Rights
If you are contemplating a divorce and anticipate that your spouse will be uncooperative with the proceedings, you need a team of South Jersey divorce attorneys who will work diligently to keep the process moving. Likewise, if a default has been entered against you in a divorce proceeding, it is imperative that you seek legal assistance of a skilled divorce attorney who will ensure that you get your “day in court” and your rights are protected. The South Jersey divorce attorneys at Adinolfi & Lieberman have extensive experience representing clients on both sides of this unfortunate situation. Conveniently located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, our divorce attorneys represented residents of communities throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Salem County, Mercer County, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Mt. Laurel and Marlton. Call our office today at 856-428-8334 to speak with an experienced, compassionate South Jersey divorce attorney or contact us online.
Jamie E. Galemba served as the law clerk to the Honorable Harold U. Johnson, Jr., J.S.C., and the Honorable Darrell M. Fineman, J.S.C., in Cumberland County after graduating from law school. She joined the South Jersey divorce firm of Adinolfi & Lieberman in September 2008 and has broad experience in all aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and parenting time.