Divorce Law: Do You Have to Answer a Complaint?

Relationships come with their share of hardships, but what happens when that relationship completely deteriorates? Even when you agree that a marriage has met its end, you may not be ready for the divorce complaint. One spouse can complete a divorce complaint. This divorce complaint states the names of the spouses and the reason for divorce. If you are served with a divorce complaint, you have a couple of options to discuss with a divorce lawyer, like from the Law Office of Daniel Wright.

Read Through the Complaint

Before you do anything, it is important that you read the document in its entirety. Do not leave anything out. It may be difficult at first, but remain calm and read it. It’s best to have all of the information right away and to give yourself time to process it. Once you do that, you can decide whether you want to answer it or not. Most of the time, you are going to want to answer it. Rarely does a divorce complaint handle all of the issues that the other spouse wants included in the divorce proceedings.

Make a Counterclaim

If you plan to answer a divorce complaint, this is known as a counterclaim. Some partners find it beneficial to answer the divorce complaint. This counterclaim can raise issues that the other complaint did not. For instance, if the other complaint did not include child custody or asset division, then you can address it in the counterclaim.

Keep in mind that it is not mandatory to answer a divorce complaint. It is, however, recommended that you do answer it. If you do not answer the complaint, then you cannot address the issues that you were excluded from in the original complaint. The divorce may still happen but you waive your rights by not answering the complaint. In a lot of cases, if you have been separated from your partner for two years, then the marriage is considered unrecognizable and the divorce may be granted. By not answering, you are giving up your rights, rather than stalling the divorce.

Divorce is a difficult time for both parties. It is among one of the most stressful life events that a person can experience. When you’re served with a divorce complaint, you may be at a loss as to what to do next. As emotional as the situation is, this is no surprise. If you aren’t sure what to do next or if you need help to navigate the divorce proceedings, contact a family lawyer for guidance.