Divorce papers received, advice on final process


#1

My wife (the plantiff) and I have been physically separated for over a year, and have a signed separation agreement to which there are no remaining issues.

It’s been over 30 days since I was served with the divorce papers, and I recently received 3 documents from her laywer:

  1. Proof that I was served motion for summary judgement
  2. Notice of Divorce Hearing. The boxes for Summary Judgement and Copy Has Been Sent to Other party are checked, and Date requested is listed as Oct 14.
  3. Proposed Finding of Fact, which I believe is what the judge will sign as asbolute divorce.

My questions:

  1. Do I need to respond to the Date Requested? The document says at the bottom that “You must complete the certificate on the back”, but the back page is blank. Stapled to this document is a note from her lawyer that Notice of Divorce hearing was sent to me. Do I need to respond, or is our court date Oct 14 if I don’t respond?

  2. If above is true, take 2 copies of the Notice of Hearing to the Clerk when I arrive?

  3. Bring 3 copies of the Notice of Absolute Divorce, and be prepared to answer dates of separation,etc?

Is this how it will work, or can you give me any advice. It doesn’t seem like I need a lawyer for this phase, but don’t want to show up unprepared or drag this out any longer.

Thank you.


#2

Since I am not able to review the documents, I must make some assumptions based on your questions; however, what I assume that you have received is a Motion for Summary Judgment and a Notice of Hearing with a certificate of service demonstrating that your wife’s attorney has in fact sent the Motion and NOH to you by mail. Assuming that is correct and you do not contest the date of separation and you do not want to file a claim for equitable distribution or alimony, you do not need to do anything further. You should be aware that if you do want to file a claim for division of property or alimony, you have to file your claim before the divorce judgment is entered by the court so that is something you need to file immediately. Since your wife’s attorney is the one filing the motion, she will appear and will present the judge the divorce judgment. You may want to contact your wife’s attorney and request that he / she send you a copy of the proposed judgment that he / she plans to submit to the court so that you can make sure everything on the judgment is correct. Assuming the judgment is correct, and you do not want to file a claim for ED or alimony, you do not need to appear.


#3

Crystal,

Thank you for the reply.

FYI… All equitable distribution is finalized on my end. The only thing outstanding is some pension funds owed to her, spelled out in the separation agreement, which can only be initiated/distributed after the divorce is final… so wouldn’t appear to apply to this hearing. There is no alimony.

One of the documents I received is titled “Proposed” Judgment of Actual Divorce (the parenthesis are actually in the document). It lists Findings of Fact, and on the next page it continues with a Conclusions of Law, and a field for the presiding judge to sign.

Would there be any additional information I need to request from her lawyer, or is the “Proposed” Judgement of Actual Divorce what you were referring to? Would that be what he is required to present as the proposed judgment unless he sent me an amended version?

Thank you again.


#4

The Proposed Judgment should be the same as the final one, unless they sent you a more recent one in the meantime. You can still contact the attorney’s office and ask if the proposed judgment will be the final one. If not, ask them to send the final one to you, just to make sure. If you agree with everything, then there is really no need for you to take the time to go to court at all.