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If you file for divorce and already had one court day with a magistrate can you stop the process if you're no longer represented

Cleveland, OH |
Filed under: Divorce

My husband wants me to use his attorney so we can get a dissolution instead of divorce i don't know when my next court date is. will the court throw out the divorce case if i don't show up for next date?

Attorney Answers 2


Generally speaking, judges want to see people represented by attorneys in court, especially if a person wants to retain an attorney. I've seen judges cut people generous breaks on continuances (delays) so they can find new representation. That said, simply not showing up does not stop the process. A divorce, once filed, is like a moving train that will not stop until you two are divorced.
I do not practice in Ohio, but the procedural laws in my state allow a judge the option to proceed by default if a party doesn't show up for court. A default is like a forfeited game. If it was as easy as not showing up, many people would stop showing up.

Your husband's attorney can work with you to negotiate a settlement. Most divorces (probably 90-95%) resolve this way. However, his attorney represents HIM and his attorney has no obligation to care about how a settlement would impact you. You owe it to yourself to either retain an attorney to represent you or bone up on family law at the local law library.

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You need to be VERY careful about how you proceed. I often have new clients who were tricked into your very position. Also, your husband's attorney can NOT represent both of you at this point, the attorney will be subject to sanctions by the ethical committee here in Cleveland.

You should contact an attorney right away, most reputable attorneys will meet with you for free to discuss the facts of your case.

I wish you the best. My office routinely handles these types of cases, if you would like a free consultation please give us a call at (440) 471-7784 or at (216) 288-0792. Good luck, let us know if we can help.


Joseph C. Patituce

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