Missing Your Divorce Court Date in Arizona: The Consequences

Divorce is challenging and many couples find it impossible to agree on all aspects of the separation. This is when a court date will have to be scheduled for the purpose of resolving those issues. Imagine the following scenario – you’ve hired an attorney, you know what you want to accomplish but eventually, an appointment you can’t miss or an emergency prevents you from attending the court session. Is this going to have a negative impact on the divorce ruling and how much of an effect can you expect when missing your divorce court date?

Missing Your Divorce Court Date: An Overview

The first thing you have to do when you learn you’re going to miss the court date is talk to your attorney.

You will also need to give your attorney a lot of information about why you’re going to miss the trial date. Based on the specifics of the situation, an attorney can request a continuation of the trial on another date.

Muzyka v. Herko is an interesting case that sheds some light on what would happen in the case of a missed court appointment. The Arizona couple had the divorce battle ongoing for several years. Eventually, the husband got in a car accident in another state that prevented him from returning to Arizona.

The man provided a number of medical statements that proved his inability to travel and attend the divorce court session.

Court eventually denied the request for continuation. The husband was provided with an option to participate in the court session via phone. On the first trial day, the man did participate in the court session. Later on, however, he refrained from calling back.

The judge ruled out that the divorce proceedings will continue, regardless of the fact the husband wasn’t participating. After the final ruling was issued, the ex-husband petitioned for re-trial. His request was turned down by several legal institutions.

What’s the lesson to take from this story? Missing a court date and your requests will be examined on an individual basis. It is up to the judge to decide whether proceedings are going to be postponed or the scheduled divorce session will go on according to plan. Usually, emergencies and medical issues justify a request for continuation.

Whenever a request is denied, the court session will take place as scheduled. In such circumstances, you risk losing valuable assets and having other important terms of the divorce being finalized without your involvement.

The Effects of Missing Your Divorce Court Date

Very often, more than one hearing will be needed to finalize your Arizona divorce. If this is the case, missing one court date isn’t going to have that much of an impact (depending on the issues and specific divorce aspects discussed on the specific date).

missing your divorce court date If you miss a court date without a valid reason, however, you may be charged with contempt of court. A judge may rule that you have to pay a fine, which will obviously add to the stress you’re already experiencing due to the divorce proceedings.

It is in your best interest to show up. Your attorney will prepare you for the upcoming processes and identify the strategic approach that will give you the best possible outcome. There’s no reason to attempt postponing things because the court procedure could take place in your absence.

In the case of a contested divorce, the absence of one spouse could lead to several possible outcomes:

  • A court ruling in favor of the other spouse
  • A dismissal of the case
  • A hearing that’s rescheduled to a later date

The reason for missing the trial is the one that will determine the outcome. If you are the person filing for divorce and you don’t have a valid reason to miss the court appointment, the case could be entirely dismissed.