My wife locked me out of our marital home April of last year. I knew she could not legally change the locks but because of the threat of violence did not have them changed back. When she filed for divorce in February of this year, she gave her address as my mailing address. I filed an answer but it was apparently filed 3 days late. My answer listed my correct mailing address. I never received anything from the court. Apparently she filed for and was granted a divorce by default on March 11th. A copy of which I still have not received (just received a photo of it today from her) I still have the majority of my belongings at her house but per the default decree, I am not allowed on her property. It also stated that I had 42 days to appeal the default decision. I had also intended to ask for the half of our income tax refunds that we had agreed on, but that she kept. What can I do?
I recommend you hire your own lawyer now. Your lawyer may be able to have the the default judgment set aside, especially if you answered the complaint appropriately. A default judgment is certainly not going to be to your benefit when the judge issues a divorce decree. You should not try to do this on your own, but you need to bring any error to the judge's attention so that he may correct any error. You are not likely to have the default set aside without professional assistance. Further, the time frame for seeking to set aside a default is very short. If you choose to wait the 42 days and appeal, then you will definitely need your own attorney and be at a distinct disadvantage based on your failure to give the trial judge an opportunity to correct any error. I wish you the best.
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