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Due to a recent brain injury I missed a continuance hearing in divorce court. Is it possible to petition for a new hearing?

Seattle, WA |

I received a traumatic brain injury shortly before my divorce hearings began, the injury is real and Im under multiple doctors care. though I initially showed up to the first two court dates I stopped going to the hearings due to cognitive issues. The court did not know about my injury and found against me. So my questions are: can I ask to have an opportunity to testify and provide evidence? If so where can I seek legal aid if the court is in another county(snohomish)? The case is not final for another 3 weeks and Im still dealing with mild cognitive issues so I feel like my hands are tied. What can I do at this point?

My case is strong as i have factual evidence that directly disputes my spouse`s claims, furthermore my spouse had numerous affairs and the other persons are willing to testify on my behalf. My spouse has confessed to their and my families about the affairs. the allegations against me can all be proved false by the evidence I have if I can get the court to allow me to present it.

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Attorney answers 3


You really need an attorney to help you sort this out. It is unclear what type of hearings you missed, what rulings have been made, and when this all occurred (there are deadlines for different types of relief that may or may not have passed). If you are a King County resident, your case doesn't need to be here to qualify for assistance here--the King County Bar Association has a lot of great programs available:
You can also try the statewide referral resource line:
If the TMI was sustained in military service, talk to JAG and ask for a referral to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project.

Regarding the additional information in your post, Washington is a no-fault state--infidelity is irrelevant, the courts are specifically prohibited from considering misconduct in a dissolution case. You need to focus on getting involved in your case to fix what has happened so far and make sure you have the opportunity to be heard from now on--an attorney can help you understand what information a court will be willing to consider.


Make sure you show up at any scheduled hearing or trial. Explain this situation to the Judge. If you can demostrate inability to defend yourself due to your brain injury, the court should vacate the prior order, and appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for you to help present your case. See my AVVO Legal Guides for a possible explanation of the legal issues raised by your question. To find my Legal Guides, go to my AVVO home page by clicking on my photo; scroll down to "Contributions" and then click "Legal Guides." You will get a list of the 29 Legal Guides I have published on AVVO. Scroll down this list and select the topics that are relevant to your question.

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You should consult with an attorney. There are rules that allow the court to reconsider its ruling and your condition should allow for a reconsideration.

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