Default Hearings are required in 3 scenarios:
1. The Respondent never cooperated and/or participated in the divorce proceeding so the Petitioner is requesting the Judge to grant the dissolution by Default (This is rare).
2. The parties have minor child(ren), have reached an agreement, and only 1 party is represented by legal counsel. This is the most common.
3. The parties have submitted an Agreement that is not customary and the Judge wants to ensure he/she understands the proposed Agreement and/or place the agreement on the formal record should there be conflict in the future - the Judge will schedule the hearing in this scenario.
This is usually the last hearing in your Court Matter.
This hearing is mandatory for the Petitioner and optional for the Respondent. However, I strongly advise the Respondent be present to ensure the divorce is granted (should the Judge have any questions).
This is not a hearing to lose any sleep over.
• Either the divorce is granted as it was written/submitted, or the Judge will send all parties back to fix anything in the Agreement that does not meet the Judge's approval.
• Nothing will be decided by the Judge/Referee; he/she will NOT rule on any issue.
Length : There is no way to predict the actual length of time you and your attorney will be at the Courthouse waiting for your case to be called, but the actual hearing itself should take no longer than 10 minutes. As a precaution, please always plan for approximately 3 hours.
How to Prepare: Your attorney will prepare the list of questions in YES / NO form a head of time and email them to you for review. Please do not study this list, you will do fine and your attorney will bring an extra copy to the Courthouse for you to refer to. You need to:
• Please eat beforehand.
• Wear business casual; no need to wear a suit but please look nice. If you wear a uniform to work, that is fine to wear to Court also as long as it is clean.
What to Bring: Nothing, your attorney will bring your file and the Judge will already have the Agreement.
Payment: No Court fee is required. Attorney's fees will be billed against your retainer being held in our trust account.