One of the principles behind our legal system is that once you’re served with documents, if you don’t do anything to defend yourself, then, at some point, you can be noted in default and the case will proceed along without you. Once an order is made against you, you’ll get served with a copy of it. But, at that point, you may not be able to get the order set aside without a really good reason to explain your delay.
I’ve seen many individuals not realise that they have limited window of time in which to file a defence in family court- whether it’s an Answer or a response to a Motion to Change. Of course, you can get extensions of time, but you have to ask for them. The court is not going to send you reminders, or follow up with you to see what’s going on.
Even if you don’t have a great defence or a great case, some defence is better than none at all. Even weaker cases, if presented in the best possible light, can either reduce the likelihood that an order will be made against you, or else make the terms of the order more favourable to you.
If you’ve been served with court papers, don’t bury your head in the sand and hope the problem will go away. There are always options available, and your best bet is to find out what those options are as soon as possible. Once you know where you stand, you can make an informed decision about the best way forward.