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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 03-21-2014, 11:15 AM
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Default First Court Appearance in Family Court mandatory?

Hi everyone,

I filed my separation agreement and a Motion to Change with the Family Branch of the Superior Court in Oshawa. At the time of filing, I was given a First Court Appearance date (I don't think this is a Case Conference, simply a meeting with a court clerk to see if there has been any negotiation).

I served and filed the paperwork.

My ex has asked for an extension on his reply and has told me that he is not attending the first court date because he feels it is a waste of time. He said a lawyer told him he doesn't have to be there. No one will be attending on his behalf. He said he will just wait and go to the court date that is in front of a judge.

I still plan on going to the First Appearance date. Is it optional?
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:52 PM
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My first court appearance was 3 years ago (so hard to recall details). I had a lawyer at the time. She attended without me and opposing counsel did not attend. It was rescheduled for second appearance. I believe both lawyers attended at that time but am not positive. I do know that lawyers can attend without their clients. It's a procedural step. If you are SRL.. I would suggest attending...at very least (even if opposing counsel does not attend)someone will be able to explain procedure to you.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
I still plan on going to the First Appearance date. Is it optional?
It is always a good idea to go to the first appearance. Has he filed an Answer? If no, he risks you having him noted in default at the first appearance - following which he would not be informed of any subsequent court dates.

In Ottawa, if both parties are ready for a case conference by the first appearance (pleadings and briefs filed) they are bumped from the first appearance list to an afternoon case conference after sending in confirmations 2 days before.
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