Going through a divorce is tough, but it can be even more difficult if your spouse does not attend meetings and court hearings. Of course, you can’t drag your spouse to the lawyer’s office or the courthouse by the neck (no matter how tempting it is), so what do you do if they don’t show up?
Why is your spouse not showing up?
The answer to this question can be pretty obvious. Even if they sign the divorce papers served by a reputable process server, your spouse may not have accepted the fact that you are divorcing, at least not yet. Aside from anger and hatred, the mental and emotional exhaustion that the divorce is causing may be taking a toll on them, making it difficult to attend meetings, court hearings, and lawyer’s appointments.
Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to encourage them to attend the meetings, but you can probably do so with the help of other family members or friends.
On the other hand, your spouse may feel very bitter about the divorce, so in order to get back at you, they want to drag on the divorce by refusing to attend meetings. If you prove that your spouse is deliberately missing appointments to harm the divorce, the judge can hold them in contempt and make them face criminal charges, as well as an arrest warrant.
What should you do if your spouse is not attending meetings?
There’s not much else you can do about a no-show spouse aside from reminding them, verbally and in written form, of your divorce meetings. Doing this will prove to the court that you have made enough effort to remind your spouse about hearings and appointments, which can help steer the case in your favor.
Apart from that, the only thing you have to do is attend the meetings diligently and work with your lawyer to get the divorce finalized. Attending these appointments can eat up a great chunk of your time and energy, but it is crucial to show up every time.
What will happen if your spouse does not show up?
When a spouse fails to show up in court without previous notification, their actions can result in various consequences. Here are some of the possible outcomes of a no-show spouse:
- Rescheduling. If your spouse misses meetings due to valid reasons, such as illness or accidents, your hearings may get rescheduled.
- Default divorce. When a spouse continues to miss hearings without valid excuses, the judge can grant you a default divorce even if there is only one spouse present. However, child custody and other issues may still not be resolved.
- Criminal contempt. If you have reasons to believe that your spouse is deliberately missing hearings to harm the divorce, the judge can hold them in contempt of court.
A non-cooperative spouse makes a divorce more difficult than it has to be. However, if your spouse doesn’t show up to hearings, there is a greater chance that you can get everything you want out of the divorce, which can be a silver lining for you. Nevertheless, when dealing with a difficult spouse, keep your cool and ask your lawyer for help.