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Top Reasons Not to Ignore Legal Pleadings

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

As children, most of us learn that ignoring problems do not make them go away. Unfortunately, as adults we don’t always take this lesson to heart. Sometimes, ignoring problems as adults really comes back to bite us. This bears particular truth when it comes to lawsuits, as there can be serious and long-term consequences if you fail to properly respond. Ignoring Civil Lawsuits If you are served with a lawsuit from a collection agency, foreclosure, or another civil matter, you need to read the materials and speak with an attorney. The consequences of failing to act can be a ridiculous monetary judgment against you, a lien on your property, seizure of property, or garnishment of your wages. These are judgments that are incredibly hard to shake and may not even …

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You’re Separated and Cannot Find Your Spouse

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, meaning that couples must be separated for a period of a year before they can ask a family court for a divorce decree. Unfortunately, a lot can happen when couples are separated for long periods of time. Whether it is by circumstance or by design, once the relationship ends, some spouses stop communicating with each other. We’ve seen scenarios where spouses move away without a trace or simply don’t want to be found. Why is this a problem? Because of concepts known as “service” and “jurisdiction”. Jurisdiction is Latin for “to speak the law”. In essence, for any court in this country to create a valid, enforceable order against a person, it must have personal jurisdiction over that person. If it a court …

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What is a Default Judgment?

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

When many people think of lawsuits, they think of highly contested legal showdowns that take place in front of a judge or jury. This is likely based on news stories or movies that contain situations of conflict, twists, and turns. For some people, the end result of their civil lawsuit is much more anticlimactic. This is because sometimes people choose not to respond or fight against lawsuits. This is where it is important to understand “default” judgments. What is a Default Judgment? In civil lawsuits North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 55 allows for “default” judgments against parties who do not timely respond to a lawsuit after being properly served with citation. In essence, the person who has been properly served with citation waives their right to defend themselves in …