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 be subject to discharge through bankruptcy. Often, there are legitimate defenses and attorney can raise or actions an attorney can take to limit or eliminate your exposure to loss.

Ignoring Equitable Distribution or Alimony Proceedings

Property division and spousal support are two highly contested areas that arise when a couple heads toward divorce. Beyond the emotions involved, couples fight over these issues because it is critical to the financial futures of everyone involved. Failure to respond or participate in equitable distribution proceedings essentially gives the other spouse the only voice when it comes to classifying and appraising marital property.

Regarding spousal support, courts are obligated to award alimony to dependent spouses if it is found that the supporting spouse engaged in an illicit sexual act outside of the marriage, so long as, any legitimate defenses aren’t raised. Further, the court can award a higher alimony judgment if it finds that the supporting spouse committed acts of marital misconduct. If you ignore these proceedings, you are waiving your right to defend yourself against these allegations, and you may end up with an expensive alimony judgment against you.

Ignoring Child Custody Proceedings

Your children are important to you, as is your continued relationship with them. In addition, you have legal rights when it comes to visitation and access to your children. When parents fail to participate in child custody proceedings, it gives courts the impression that the parent does not care about the child. Further, it leaves the court with little option but to listen to uncontested evidence from the other parent about you and how it is not in the child’s best interest to have visitation with you.

New Direction Family Law

If you have been served with a lawsuit regarding a divorce, property division, spousal support, child support, or child custody matter, contact New Direction Family Law today. You have legal rights, but you must appear and defend yourself to preserve those rights. Our attorneys are smart and experienced, and they will provide you with the information and options you need to appropriately respond. Let us help you stand up for yourself. Our legal team serves Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or contact us through our website.