If you have been served with a divorce petition, it means that your spouse has formally filed a paper to start the process of divorce. As soon as the divorce petition is served to you, you are given a specific time period to respond, if you decide to. Within that period of time you have to respond, you may need to hire a family law attorney, come up with appropriate response, draft and file the response back to the court.
After filing a response, you may be required to attend a court hearing to inform the judge why you deserve the legal remedies that you requested for in your response.
You need to file a written response to a divorce petition as soon as it is served to meet up with the court deadline for the reaction. If you did not respond in time, the court may grant the other party all the items s/he requested in the divorce petition, allowing you with no chance to contest the divorce or challenge the provisions. The solution is filing a formal response to all the allegations your spouse made in the divorce petition.
They following are the steps you need to follow while responding to a divorce petition:
Step 1: Check for answer form
Examine the petition papers to check if it comes with an answer form. Courts commonly have specific forms to respond to in case of divorce petitions, and it is possible that the divorce petition has been mailed to you along with the form. Check the petition deadline and ensure you comply with the deadline if you want to provide a response.
Step 2: Collect the answer form
Contact the court and collect the answer form if the answer form was not filled with the divorce petition. Also obtain court instructions on responding to the claim.
Step 3: State your disagreements
Mention what you don’t agree with on the petition and state your reason for disagreement on the answer form. Keep to the instructions of the court regarding proper formatting and proper use of language. For instance, you may merely use “admit” for allegations you agree to and “deny” for allegations you don’t agree to. You many need to provide facts that support your denials. Carefully examine the petition while organizing the answer form to avoid not responding to significant issues.
Step 4: Visit a public notary
Come to the public notary with your photo identification and your written response to the divorce petition. Sign and date the form before the notary and get them to notarize your signature. A public notary is commonly available at government buildings and banks. Get at least two photocopies of the notarized answer.
Step 5: Fulfill court formalities
When you visit the court where the petition is filed, provide your original response to the divorce petition and the photocopies you have made. File your response and pay the required fee. Inquire from the court on how you could mail notice of your answer to your spouse. The requirements of court differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You may be required to mail the answer to your spouse through certified mail or regular mail, or you may be required to personally serve your response to your spouse.