What Happens If I Don’t Respond To Divorce Papers In Florida?
If your spouse filed for divorce and you are about to be served divorce papers in Florida, you might wonder what would happen if you avoided service or did not respond to the petition.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that not responding to divorce papers or avoiding service will prevent their spouse from getting a divorce. However, that is not true.
Your failure to submit a response or your attempts to avoid service of the divorce papers will not stop the divorce proceedings. In Florida, the divorce process can move forward even without your response, whether you like it or not.
If you were served divorce papers, it is in your best interests to file a response. You should talk to a skilled divorce attorney in Orlando to help you understand your rights and options. Contact Arwani Law Firm to discuss your situation.
What happens if I don’t respond to divorce papers?
Under Fla. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.070, you have 20 days from the date of service to submit your response. The date when you were served can be found in the summons.
But what happens if you do not respond to divorce papers within 20 days? After the deadline, you will lose your right to respond to allegations from the divorce petition.
Also, after 20 days pass without your response, your spouse will be able to seek a default divorce judgment against you, and this is definitely not something you want.
A default judgment means that all divorce issues will be resolved without you. In the event of a default divorce, you will not be permitted to participate in the divorce proceedings, and the judge will only consider your spouse’s side of the story.
Therefore, if you want to control the outcome of your divorce, you need to respond to divorce papers within 20 days.
How to submit a response to divorce papers in Florida?
When filing a response to a divorce petition in Florida, you can submit an “answer,” a “counterclaim,” or both.
- Answer. If you disagree with your spouse’s allegations or statements in the divorce petition, you should file an answer to respond to those allegations and statements.
- Counterclaim. If you would like to make new allegations or put forth alternative versions of your spouse’s statements, you should go with a counterclaim.
It is highly advised to seek legal counsel from a skilled divorce lawyer in Orlando to help you prepare an answer or counterclaim when responding to your spouse’s divorce papers. Drafting and submitting a response can play a major role in the outcome of your divorce case.
At Arwani Law Firm, our Orlando divorce attorneys are committed to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their case. We understand that divorce proceedings can be very stressful and frustrating, which is why we are willing to take the pressure off you while you focus on healing from divorce. Call 407-254-0060 for a free case evaluation.