The Ostrich Defense Doesn’t Work in Family Court

ostrichSo what is the Ostrich Defense?  Well, apparently it is a myth, but it is thought that in times of danger, an ostrich would stick his head in the sand.  Sort of a “hear no evil, see no evil” approach.  My young son does this sometimes.  If I am coming to tickle him, he will bury his head in a pillow and hope that since he can’t see me that I can’t see him.  But I always find him.

So how does this relate to divorce?  I know divorce is difficult.  No matter what the marriage is like, no one ever got married with the divorce in mind.  Depending on your religious background, divorce may be totally against the rules.  Whatever the reason, I meet with people that simply do not want to participate in the divorce case.  They believe that if they just keep their head down, the divorce will just blow over and nothing will happen – no divorce; no rights adjusted; things back to normal.

Unfortunately, that is not how things work out.  If your spouse has decided to move forth with a divorce – regardless of your desires or beliefes, you should make sure that you protect yourself because for many issues, you must seek those rights immediately or they will be given up forever.  So, if your spouse who has always financially support you and your family moves out and seeks a divorce and you do not seek alimony or division of assets (such as his retirement account) you will not be able to go back to court again in the future to get that alimony.

Many people think that if you are served with divorce papers and you simply do nothing, your spouse will not be able to move forward with the divorce.  But that is wrong.  When you are served you have 30 days to respond.  If you do nothing or respond late you will be in “default” which means that some of your rights and potential arguments are already terminated.

So, even if you do not agree with the divorce, I would encourage you to at least look out for yourself and participate in the action.  That is the only way you can ensure that justice is done and you receive what you are entitled to without involuntarily giving up some rights and privileges that you are entitled to.

Photo Credit: Gravitywave

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