Answer to Divorce Complaint & Dissolution Petition
How to Answer a Divorce Complaint
It is vital to timely and properly answer a divorce complaint or petition for dissolution of marriage in order not to lose all your rights in a divorce proceeding. A failure to timely answer the complaint can result in a default divorce judgment being entered against you. A default judgment or default divorce order is an automatic win for the filing spouse, and all the requests made my the spouse who filed the divorce petition, referred to as the petitioner or plaintiff, will be granted without an opportunity for the defendant or respondent to be heard. This means that all the respondent's rights on issues like child custody and property division will be forfeited. Therefore, it is crucial to file an answer within the time frame allowed by the state rules of civil procedure. Divorce laws vary by state, but typically the defendant must file a response within 30 days.
To properly answer a divorce complaint, the defendant must address all of the statements made by the plaintiff in the divorce petition by stating whether the allegations made are admitted or denied. Usually, the allegations made by the plaintiff in the petition for dissolution will be individually set forth in numbered paragraphs. Therefore, the respondent must admit or deny each individual paragraph in separately numbered paragraphs that correspond to the numbers of the allegations made in the complaint for divorce. US Legal Forms makes it easy to answer a divorce summons with a response form template that allows you to simply fill in the numbers of the paragraphs that are admitted or denied. The divorce answer form also allows you to make a counterclaim, in which you set forth your own requests regarding child custody, property division, spousal support, or other matters you wish to have determined in the divorce proceedings. The form also includes a certificate of service to prove that a copy was served on the plaintiff, as required by the civil rules of procedure.
US Legal Forms offers state-specific forms that are professionally designed to comply with the laws of your state, unlike many of the generic answer to dissolution petition and divorce complaint answer forms found online. The forms incorporate the requirements of state law, which vary by state, such as statements showing residency requirements have been met. Therefore, you can trust that our forms comply with state rules and are enforceable under the family laws of your state.