Just to follow up on the hearing. Perhaps my experience will be useful to others on this forum. The Wake County District Civil Court’s clerks would not allow for a motion to be heard at the same time as the uncontested divorce hearing, so I abandoned filing a motion to strike the defendant’s answer at least until after the hearing.
The defendant chose not to appear at the hearing. The judge read the unsigned and unverfied answer and, without any comment about the answer, went on with questions pertinant to the Findings of Fact in the Judgment. Maybe if the defendant had appeared, the process would have been moved to being a contested divorce with an assigned family court judge and maybe not. I don’t know. The judge at the uncontested divorce hearing granted the divorce. I don’t know if it is simply because the defendant chose not to appear or whether the answer was ignored or both. I did ask the judge about redacting personal information inappropriate to the answer, personally identifying information that could be used for identity theft. The judge said I would have to go through a different process to get that done and I later discovered that it will most likely have to be a motion to be heard in Wake County District Civil Court to get that done. If you have any suggestions about that, they would be most welcome.
The judge was very probative in determining whether a defendant was truly contesting anything material to the grounds for an absolute divorce or not in the several cases where a defendant came and had anything to say other than preserving other rights with the plaintiff.
Another thing that helped was going to the Friday uncontested divorce hearings a few times to listen to the process in advance of my own hearing date. I got to see several examples of what happens when things are not completely uncontested and when the process is not followed correctly by a plaintiff or defendant.
Thanks for providing this forum to those of us going through very trying times in our lives.