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Dissolution of marriage and motion to default

Bellingham, WA |

I have petitioned for dissolution of marriage and my husband did not file the Response to Petition in the time allowed. Now his lawyer has got a trial date as well as prior date for settlement conference - but can I still file a motion for default if a trial date is already set? Whatcom County, WA.

Attorney Answers 2


If your Husband has a trial date it would appear that he had indeed filed an answer. If he filed an answer default would not be appropriate. If you are still convinced he has not answered you can argue at trial that he has therefore admitted to all of the allegations in your petition. However, if he just filed his answer late default is not appropriate.

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If your husband has an attorney, then there is no point in filing a motion for default. It's not unusual for an attorney to file a late response to a disso petition. You need to go ahead and prepare for the settlement conference by giving the settlement master the documents he/she needs to come to a decision which is non-binding. If your husband has an attorney, you need to get an attorney -- no two ways about it. Trial procedure is complicated and if you miss a step, you can damage your case.

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