Q: Our friend was divorced in NY ten years ago and never got any of the court papers. She didn’t even know she was divorced. The court file shows the following:
1. Plaintiff-Husband claimed to live in Mount Vernon NY but in fact we believe this to be false because he owned a house in the Bronx and still lived at his family home in MA.
2. Defendant claims she never appeared before a notary, and said her husband forced her to sign the papers in MA. But a Bronx Notary said she signed in his presence in NY.
A: The issue in your case is that if you say your husband “forced you to sign the papers,” then you were aware a divorce was pending. It would’ve been another issue if you were improperly served and thus had no reason to know a divorce had been filed. Generally you have 1 year from the date you failed to “appear” in the action to file an application to vacate any default in the action. You’re best advised to schedule a consult with a Westchester Divorce attorney & bring in all the paperwork for a full assessment.