– from Kenneth R. in Wales, WI

Question Details:

My wife requested a specific hearing date. I explained that it was not a good day for me. The judge affirmed the date she requested for the hearing. I showed up, but my wife did not and a judgment was made. She is now appealing the decision because she said she did not receive an order to appear. Will the judgment stand on appeal, even if my wife was not present?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This is actually a very good question. There are several things the courts may consider when reviewing this case. There are also a number of ways this could play out. One scenario could be that the appellate court may find that the hearing should have been continued.

Your scenario could play out like the case of Poncek v. Poncek, 121 Wis. 2d 191, 358 N.W.2d 539 (Ct. App. 1984). A similar situation had occurred where the husband insisted on a date, then did not show. He also appealed the courts decision based on the fact that he did not receive an order to appear. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's decision based on the fact that he is the one who insisted on the date.

My advice would be to consult with an experienced family law attorney right away to go over the details. Representation is important during these situations.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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