If you are served with a divorce summons and you don’t want a divorce, feel conflicted about the divorce, or don’t know how to proceed, your first reaction might be that if you ignore it, it will just go away. Denial is often a kneejerk reaction in uncomfortable or scary situations. Unfortunately, if you ignore a divorce summons, it won’t go away. Whether you want to deal with it or not, your spouse has filed for divorce and you’ve been notified. This means that a divorce case has officially begun. The only way the case will not move forward is if your ex withdraws it or a judge at some point dismisses it, which is rare. Once the summons has been filed and served, the divorce is officially moving through the courts and you must respond to it to protect your rights.
When you receive a summons, you have two choices. The first choice is that you can answer it and file a response with the court. The best way to do this is to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can offer advice about your particular case and how the law applies to it.
Your other option is to ignore the summons. If you ignore it, the case will proceed without you. You will have no opportunity to present your side of the story. Nor will you be able to offer any input into how your marital assets and debts will be divided, how custody and child support for your children (if you have any) is determined, or present any evidence or testimony. The divorce becomes uncontested, which means the judge will only hear from and see evidence presented by your spouse. The judge is still required to make a fair and legally sound decision in the case, but he or she does so based only on what your spouse asks for and tells the court. Because of this, it is never a good idea to simply ignore a divorce summons.
The skilled attorneys at DeTorres & DeGeorge will help you answer your divorce summons in Hunterdon, Warren, Middlesex or Somerset counties in New Jersey. Make an appointment to talk about your case.