Failing To Appear For Divorce Court Is A Bad Idea

Failing To Appear For Divorce Court Is A Bad Idea

by Apr 10, 2019Divorce

Given the choice between going to divorce court, or spending an equal amount of time at the dentist, you’d be forgiven for choosing the latter. Getting a divorce is never fun, and very rarely is it easy. But one thing you shouldn’t do is fail to appear for your scheduled court dates.

No matter how angry, embarrassed, guilty, anxious, or depressed you may feel about appearing at your divorce court hearing, not showing up is a far worse option. The court system, and judges in particular, do not like having their time wasted, and you will suffer their wrath if you don’t show up as promised.

What Failing To Appear Doesn’t Do

If you’re under the impression that if you don’t show up to court, then the whole process comes to a halt, you are gravely mistaken.

Failing to appear for divorce court does not, in any way, put your divorce proceedings on hold, on pause, on the backburner, or any other euphemism indicating a lack of forward progress. If everyone else shows up except you, the wheels keep right on turning.

In fact, you will almost certainly incur one or more penalties for failing to appear.

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Penalties For Failing To Appear

Failing to appear in divorce court means you have legally missed a scheduled court date without notifying the court. In so doing, a judge can charge you with contempt of court and issue a bench warrant for your arrest. You’ll also have to pay a fine.

Additionally, by not appearing, you’ll give the court a bad impression. You’re also forfeiting your right to present your side of the story, and instead allowing your spouse to present their side of it uncontested.

Being Sick Is Okay

If you are legitimately ill and unable to appear in court, that’s fine. People get sick and the courts understand this. As long as you notify the court as soon as possible, things should generally be okay. The same goes for sudden emergencies.

If you’ve hired an attorney to represent you for your divorce, you should also let them know ahead of time as well. Your attorney can also notify the court on your behalf if you’re unable to appear due to illness or some other emergency.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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