Response and Counter Response

After a divorce/dissolution of marriage petition is filed with the court, the petitioner serves the other spouse. The spouse who has been served with the divorce/dissolution of marriage petition is called the “respondent” or “defendant” in the divorce/dissolution of marriage process. He or she must respond to (“answer”) the petition within a specific amount of time.

If you are the respondent, you must respond to the allegations in the petition within a short time a specific amount of time, or you will lose your right to argue your position on issues like property division and child custody.

The response acknowledges the respondent’s receipt of the divorce/dissolution of marriage petition, and states agreement or disagreement with the petition.

More specifically, the respondent’s answer should clearly state his or her position on the filing spouse’s statements and proposals found in the divorce/dissolution of marriage petition – including information about the spouses and marriage; and requests for child custody, property division, and support. Agreement or disagreement with the information and demands contained in the petition can often be declared on a pre-printed court form by checking boxes labeled “admitted” or “denied,” in sections numbered to correspond with the statements or demands made in the petition. These pre-printed answer forms also provide space for explanation and the respondent’s own demands.

If the divorce/dissolution of marriage petition is properly served on the respondent, and he or she doesn’t answer it, the court will likely assume that the respondent agrees to the divorce on the terms that the filing spouse set in the petition, and a “default” will be entered in the case — meaning that by failing to answer the divorce/dissolution petition, the respondent’s right to argue any part of the divorce has ended.

Freedom Rings can guide you through the process of answering and filing any counter petitions you need.  Contact us today so that we can help you file the appropriate documents for your response or counter petition.