You are here

Minimum time requirement between being served and MA divorce court date?

My ex has been trying to have me served for a court appearance for over a month now. Not sure what the issue is with having me served as I have provided her my current address multiple times. Supposedly she has had to go to court to reschedule the hearing date once already. The new court date is supposedly October 15 but I have yet to be served. I do not have an attorney nor can I afford one. I'm concerned that I will not be given ample time to prepare for court as she refuses to tell me why she is bringing me back to court. Is there a minimum time requirement by the court between the time I am served and the date of the court appearance in order to be able to prepare? Should her new attorney have tried to contact me prior to the appearance in order to try to negotiate a resolution prior to a court appearance? Thank you.

Share this with your friends

Dear Me: You are to receive 7 days notice prior to the scheduled hearing date, with the requirement that the papers were mailed 3 days prior, if the Motion and Notice of Hearing are served to you by mail. So, generally you must receive the documents 7 days prior to the assigned hearing date. If the Motion is to be heard on October 15th, you should receive a copy of it by October 7th in the mail. But, her attorney is not required to contact you for the purpose of trying to negotiate a resolution prior to the hearing. If the issue in the Motion is about financial issues, you should go to the court's website and complete and print out a Financial Statement; this will save you the stress of completing this form at court on the day of the hearing. The court usually sends all unresolved Motion matters to the Family Service Office for preliminary discussions with a Family Service representative (a court employee), who tries to help the parties reach a conclusion. That representative will explain how such issues are usually resolved and give their view of what the Judge is likely to do. At least 75% of Motions are resolved with the Family Service representative and then presented to the Judge of approval. If not resolved in this manner, the Motion is presented to the Judge in the courtroom, with each side presenting their side of the issue and the way they would like the matter concluded. The Judge than makes the decision, either on the spot, or takes the matter "under advisement" and you'll get the Court's Order later in the mail. Hope this helps.

Talk to a Divorce Attorney Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin