Received a divorce petition? Learn what to do next

You and your spouse have been together for around 10 years. You’ve gone though a lot of ups and downs, but you thought that you were stronger together.

That must not have been the case because you received notice that your spouse wanted to divorce you. The paperwork you held in your hands was shocking, and you were hurt that they hadn’t spoken to you first.

Finding out about your spouse’s intention to divorce you by being served the divorce paperwork is hurtful, so you should take some time to think about how you want to proceed. You have a limited amount of time to respond to the divorce petition, but you want to make sure that you go over the information it includes and speak with your attorney about how to respond.

You can respond in one of two ways. First, you can file an answer. This answer states what you do or don’t agree with. The other option is to file a counterclaim, which gives you the opportunity to write out what you want out of the divorce, such as the custody orders or property division arrangements you would like.

Since you have just a short time to respond to the divorce petition, you may want to talk to your attorney about which of the two methods is best for you to use. It all depends on what the petition says and if you agree with it. If it’s fair and you agree, you may not need to do too much more. If you don’t agree, then it’s worth talking to your attorney about your counterclaim.

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