Served divorce papers -- now what?

When papers of marriage dissolution are initially served, it is normal to feel a variety of emotions. This can be a confusing and challenging time in one's life. As difficult as it may seem, once divorce papers are received, the respondent only has a short window to answer the petition. For those dealing with this type of situation in New York or elsewhere, a family law attorney can be a great resource and guide when it comes to preparing one's response and moving forward with the process in its entirety.

The window to respond to a divorce petition in New York is approximately 30 days. If one fails to respond, the petitioner may be granted an uncontested divorce and given the settlement he or she requested in his or her initial petition. For those who do take issue with the proposed settlement, time is of the essence.

Answering a divorce petition does not have to be difficult. There is some key information that does need to be included, however. First and foremost, an answer simply must acknowledge the request to dissolve the marriage. After that, the respondent will want to include any agreements or disagreements he or she has with the petitioner's assertions.

Depending on one's personal circumstances, one's answer to a divorce petition may be short or fairly lengthy. In either case, preparing an answer is something that should be done with careful thought and consideration. With legal assistance, New York residents who are in the beginning stages of the divorce process can prepare an appropriate response and also take any other necessary steps toward achieving a fair and balanced settlement.

Source: FindLaw, "Answering the Divorce/Dissolution Petition", June 14, 2016

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