I am a petitioner in a divorce. My spouse has filed a response. A mandatory settlement conference is scheduled for today. I expect that my spouse will not show up. He has been having a lot of legal and drug problems. In addition, he has told me he does not want to get divorced and will do whatever it takes to stall it. I have filed all the required documents before the hearing.
What will happen when he does not appear? Will the judge let me proceed to file a default?
General Practice Lawyer
No the judge will not let you take his default. He has filed a response. A mean judge will set an Order to Show Cause as to why he should not be sanctioned for failing to show up at the mandatory settlement conference. A nice judge will continue the matter and give him another chance. Check your local rules for evidentiary sanctions that may be imposed for failure to participate meaningfully in the mandatory settlement conference.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The judge has that authority - but it's rarely exercised in that fashion.
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