So, you have filed your uncontested petition for divorce and you have been assigned a hearing date. But, unfortunately, you cannot attend the hearing. This is a brief guide on what you can do to avoid going to court for your own divorce.
I generally encourage my clients to attend the divorce hearing–it just gives the closure that is needed. Sometimes it is just not feasible, however, so here are the three extra steps so one party does not have to attend. Please note, the court will never permit both parties to not attend.
Step 1: Sign your separation agreement and have it notarized (generally, a notary is not required but it is good practice).
Step 2: File an assented-to motion to waive your appearance. If you are filing an uncontested divorce, chances are your spouse will agree. You can also file a contested Motion to Waive Appearance. You should put in the agreement why you can’t appear, i.e. work meeting, medical issues, hardship or out of state.
Step 3: Sign an affidavit, in which you (1) Indicate the reason why you cannot attend, and explain why your attendance would cause a financial or other hardship; (2) state that you have reviewed the separation agreement completely, finding that it is fair and reasonable; (3) state you have read your spouse’s financial statement and attest to its accuracy, as well as your own and 4) especially if you are not going to represented at the hearing by an attorney, your affidavit should explain that you will be available by telephone during the date and time of the hearing, and supply a number, just in case any issues come up.
I know all of this is difficult to translate into proper court form. Let us make it easier for you. Click here to use our template form.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call Amy Saunders or Catherine Becker Good, who can assist.
Attorney Amy Saunders, Esq.
858 Washington Street Suite 103
Dedham, MA 02026