Return Date Law and Legal Definition

The term Return date means the day named in a writ or other form of legal process as the date when the response to that paper must be made.

Return date, in case of divorce cases is the date on which the stipulated waiting period for a divorce begins. It is also the date by which the defendant should file an appearance.

Return dates vary from cases to case depending on the subject matter of the cases. The fixation of the period with regard to the return date may be statutory in most cases. A court may hear arguments on motions, cross motions and orders to show cause after the parties have received appropriate notice. The return date is the date when courtroom action actually begins or when the action is scheduled to begin.