In any family court case, the case begins by personally serving the opposing party with a summons and a copy of the pleadings for the case. Once someone is served with the summons, they have 30 days from the date of service to file an Answer with the Court. If they do not respond within 30 days then the party that filed the case may proceed with what is called a default hearing. The default hearing is a hearing with the Judge where the petitioning party asks the Court to find the responsive party in default and to grant the relief requested in the petition without giving them any more time to respond.
What Happens If I Did Not Respond to the Summons in Time?
If you failed to respond within 30 days then there is a decent chance the Court has found you in default, or at the very least, there is a good chance that a default hearing is on the calendar. You need to immediately file an Answer with the Court, as well as a Motion to Set Aside Default the Default Order. It would also be wise to consult with an attorney, as a default situation is not a situation to mess around with.
Will the Judge Set Aside My Default?
While there is never a guarantee, some Judges will set aside a default order if you act quickly. Under the Missouri Supreme Court Rules, you must show good cause and meritorious defense to set aside a default.