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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 11-06-2019, 10:12 AM
nmto nmto is offline
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Default Uncontested Trial Questions

Hi, this is my first post here, this forum is so helpful. I'm currently in the process of divorcing my ex and sorting out a few other things.

My ex hasn't participated in any of legal process, which has left all the costs and frustration on my shoulders. In the summer I filed for divorce, consent to travel with our daughter without his permission (he is in and out of her life and has substance abuse issues), formalizing supervised access, and also noting his child support arrears - he didn't respond, so in September we filed everything including affidavit evidence and requesting an uncontested trial.

This week he sent me an email telling me he is still trying to organize a mediator and that it's clearly in my best interest to do this otherwise he will have to contest everything I have asked for. I think it's an empty threat, and I don't think he understands that the court system is moving on without him but I obviously want to avoid creating more stress/challenges for myself.

1. if someone misses the window to respond, is it safe now, or he could he actually decide to become involved in the legal process again?

2. If you had an uncontested trial, how long did it take to get a date? Did they rule on affidavit evidence, or did you have a trial with a judge? Did the decision get made right away?

Thanks for any advice, my lawyer can be so vague and it would great to hear from people who actually used this method. Thank you for any help.

N
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:44 AM
Tired_Dad Tired_Dad is offline
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Good morning! I, myself, went through something similar and here's what I went through. I tried to negotiate WAY BEFORE lawyers were involved. I offered up numerous options and even went to 1 mediation. Two options were left on the table for her to choose from. She kept putting it off and delaying things. After 3 weeks, I made a deadline and stuck to it. She didn't choose anything and just ignored everything. My lawyer and I tried to set a date for an uncontested trial and was met with a letter from a judge, stating that we needed to give her one last chance and submit the options to my ex by having her served with the judges letter, our application and a 15 day deadline. She ignored it all again and we ended up going to an uncontested trial. As my children are all older, and only 1 dependent living with her, I received my order to sell the matrimonial home, imposed child support on myself, had "minor" costs awarded to me (as she doesn't make a lot of money) and my divorce. This took about 2 months following the judged letter (but closer to 1.5 years since it all started). Your ex would have a chance to participate or contest (if they choose too) or file an appeal following the verdict... and from what I'm told, judges do tend to overturn an uncontested trial shortly after being served with a final judgement. In my case, my ex tried to settle out of court but was extremely unreasonable. She has not filed an appeal and it's going on a year since the final judgment was made (so fingers crossed nothing happens now). I'm told that if your ex is found in default and you successfully get a final order from a judge at an uncontested trial (and they don't file an appeal within a reasonable amount of time), things are basically settled and they will have an extremely steep hill to climb (not to mention the costs in doing so would/will be extremely high). I'm not sure what head space your ex is in at the moment, but this is just one example of an uncontested trial. I hope this helps you in some way. Best of luck!
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:54 AM
nmto nmto is offline
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Thanks for this info! We have been split up 2.5 years, did the legal separation agreement last summer which was unbelievable stressful, sold the matrimonial home, etc., so this is obviously extra stuff he won't want to consent to because it minimizes his parental role formally.

I guess I will just keep calm and not fan the flames as much as possible and hope he doesn't get organized. I am pretty sure he has close to zero funds for a lawyer at this point which helps.

Any recollection about how long it took to receive the letter from the judge after filing the info for an uncontested trial? Did you submit a lot of evidence, or was it mostly she wasn't participating?

It has been 2 months for me, and I'm obviously anxious for some movement.

"I'm told that if your ex is found in default and you successfully get a final order from a judge at an uncontested trial (and they don't file an appeal within a reasonable amount of time), things are basically settled and they will have an extremely steep hill to climb (not to mention the costs in doing so would/will be extremely high)"

*** This is really what I'm hoping for, thank you! ***
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:24 AM
Tired_Dad Tired_Dad is offline
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I believe we waited about 1-1.5 months for the judges letter, stating that he wasn't going to endorse the uncontested trial until she was served with his letter, our application (if we decided to change it) and he stated the 15 day timeline... not us. During the trial I brought all the evidence I needed, but since she wasn't participating the judge was content with the verbal evidence (we also had all the attempts at communication filed as evidence). If the timeline for the application has come and gone (we even waited 2 more weeks before filing for the uncontested trial the first time), ask your lawyer to move the process forward via the uncontested trial. From what I gather, all judges are different. Some will do what our judge did and give them a bit more time. Some judges will accept the application without even having a trial and some will turn it down and ask for more evidence. It really depends on the circumstances and what you are asking for I guess. Crossing my fingers and hoping for a quick and successful outcome for you!
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