Can both petitioner & respondent check the box under Appearances on the final decree of divorce "Not present but signed below"?
3 attorney answers
These issues are within the discretion of the court. Some family court judges will sign off on a divorce decree without any type of hearing if it is agreed to by both parties. In other cases they will sign off without a hearing but require an affidavit including all the usual testimony. The court clerk for the court where your divorce is pending may be able to confirm that for you. Otherwise, the attorneys local to that court may know. However, all that said this is not the norm and you should not expect that the court will make an exception to its normal practices to accommodate you.
That's like asking if you have to be at the doctor's office for the doctor to examine you. DUH. Don't do it yourself. We have had many cases where people tried doing a divorce themselves only to find out years later that they were never divorce because they did not do it right. Then, they realize that the second marriage is null and void because they are still married to the first person who now gets all their property.
The prove up hearing takes a hot five minutes. You will probably wait thirty minutes for your turn. You'll be an hour late for work. Work through lunch to make up for it.
It is possible to submit a sworn statement of evidence if your court will allow it. But it will cost much more in attorney's fees to try to make that work than you will lose by missing an hour of work. It would not make economic sense unless you make several hundred dollars per hour.
Ms. Laster practices in Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant Coun
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