When the Court Demands, 'Show Me the Receipts'
Are you currently dealing with a challenging spouse, making the divorce process feel like an uphill battle? Are you overwhelmed with the intricacies of divorce litigation? At Hicks Crandall Juhl PC, we understand that divorces can be complex and emotionally draining, especially when faced with a difficult partner or difficult litigation requirements. Our experienced team is here to help you navigate the divorce process.
In divorce litigation in Virginia, each party must be prepared to try his/her case. The divorce process can often require concrete deadlines and detailed submissions. While the trial judge has the discretion to move these deadlines, having counsel who can help parties navigate this process is essential.
Additionally, if a spouse continues to seek continuances, the Virginia courts have ordered that party to provide substantive medical documentation before granting relief. Recently, the Virginia Court of Appeals, held in the case of Bobsin v. Bobsin, that a trial judge did not err by conducting a final divorce hearing without Wife present after Wife failed to provide documentation of the maladies she claimed forced her absence from the hearing.
In that case, a Wife hired and fired six attorneys prior to trial and was not represented at the final hearing date. When Wife appeared for trial, Wife claimed she was unaware of her prior counsel’s withdrawal – while acknowledging she had fired her counsel. Wife then claimed she was experiencing a medical emergency and needed to go to the hospital. The trial judge continued to the matter to allow the Wife to seek medical treatment. However, Wife failed to appear at the new hearing date. The trial judge heard the evidence in Wife’s absence and ruled. Wife sought to reopen the evidence – claiming she was unable to participate due to her medical issues. The Court of Appeals held that the absence of a party does not negate the trial court’s ruling, despite the fact that Wife was not able to present any evidence. The Court of Appeals further upheld the trial court’s ruling that Wife must “show the receipts” to support any claims that she was experiencing a medical condition that made her appearance impossible. Thus, Wife was barred from presenting any claims regarding equitable distribution.
If you're embroiled in a family law case, remember that absence can speak volumes, and proof is paramount. Consult with a proficient family law attorney who will diligently protect your interests and ensure you have the evidence needed to make your case. If you're seeking legal assistance, our dedicated team at Hicks Crandall Juhl PC is ready to assist. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and secure the experienced representation necessary to navigate family law complexities. Don't let absence cast doubt—provide the evidence to protect your rights and interests. If you would like assistance in navigating divorce and equitable distribution, feel free to reach out to our Fairfax office at 703-691-4848, or simply use our online inquiry form to get in touch with us today.