What is a default hearing in family court?

There are some situations where one party fails or refuses to participate during the case. A situation like this is common during a domestic relations law related to other types of practices. Multiple reasons for lack of participation occur. Courts will address the lack of involvement.

What if They Refuse?

The court will still hear the case if one party refuses to participate. The opposing party needs to provide evidence that they attempted to notify the other person of the hearing date. The notice must be in writing and sent by certified mail or some other type of delivery service that provides proof that it was received. If there is not enough evidence to show that the other person was properly notified.

If you are the party that did not receive notification, you may be able to file a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Due Process, but the only way to know for sure is during your meetings with us to go over the case in-depth.  The Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Due Process essentially asks the court to throw out the case because you were not given notice or an opportunity to participate. The court will look at whether or not you would have been able to participate if you had received notice. If the answer is no, then the court will most likely dismiss the case. However, if the answer is yes, then the court may choose to hear the case without you.

It is important to remember that even if a case proceeds without your involvement, you may still be held liable for any damages that are awarded to the other party. This is why it is always best to participate in your own case, even if you do not think that you will win. An attorney can help you navigate these complicated legal waters and ensure that your rights are protected.

How Default Hearings Differ from Other Hearings

Default hearings are different from other types of hearings because they require one party to provide proof that the other party was properly notified of the hearing date.   If the party does not provide this proof, the court may enter a default judgment against that party. 

Other types of hearings, such as pretrial conferences or settlement conferences, do not require either party to provide proof of notification. Instead, these hearings are simply an opportunity for the parties to discuss their case with each other and try to reach a settlement. 

If you have been served with papers for a default hearing, it is important that you take the time to understand what is required of you. Failing to do so could result in a default judgment being entered against you.

Contact us if you need help navigating a case like this. If you have any questions about default hearings or any other type of hearing, please contact us. We are here to help you through every step of the legal process. 

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