Some Crucial Things To Know About Responding to Divorce Papers
If you recently received divorce papers from your spouse, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be having a hard time processing things. You may not even understand what to do next. While you can do nothing and let the process move forward, taking action as soon as possible is crucial if you want to protect your interests and resolve the divorce as favorably as possible. Below, we discuss some important things you should know about responding to divorce papers.
#1: Failure To Respond to the Divorce Papers Means Your Partner Will Get What They Requested in the Divorce Petition
Unfortunately, some people believe that not responding to divorce papers will result in their spouse not being able to proceed with the divorce process. This is not the case in Florida. If you fail to respond to the divorce petition, you will lose your right to file a response. Your spouse may also ask the court to enter into a default judgment. If the court grants a default divorce judgment against you, the divorce will proceed without you. If the court grants a default divorce judgment, your spouse will get everything they requested in their divorce petition.
#2: You Have 20 Days To Respond to the Divorce Petition
After being served with divorce papers, you have 20 days to respond. Otherwise, you will lose your right to respond, and your spouse can seek a default divorce judgment against you.
#3: You Can File an Answer to the Divorce Complaint, File a Counter-petition, or Do Both
You can respond to your spouse’s divorce petition by filing an answer and/or a counter-petition/counterclaim. When you answer a divorce petition by filling out Family Law Form 12.903(b), you are admitting or denying the allegations made by your spouse.
You should respond with a counter-petition/counterclaim if you want to make new allegations. Also, in your counterclaim, you can detail what you specifically want from the divorce.
A qualified divorce attorney can advise you on the best option.
#4: Your Partner Must Be Served With a Copy of Your Response
After you file your response, you must ensure your spouse is served with a copy of your response filings. However, you are not required to present your spouse a copy of your response filing face to face. You can do so via mail or e-mail.
If you file an answer only, your spouse will not be required to respond. However, if you file a counterclaim/counter-petition, your spouse will be required to respond within 20 days of being served with the papers.
Divorce can be complicated. If you fail to satisfy specific requirements, your case may be impacted negatively. If you have received divorce papers from your spouse, it is vital that you contact a qualified divorce lawyer. A lawyer can ensure you avoid missteps and your rights are protected throughout the divorce.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Lawyer
If you have received divorce papers from your spouse, contact our skilled Orlando divorce lawyers at The Arwani Law Firm for legal guidance and representation.