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Potential Responses to Florida Divorce Papers

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Potential Responses to Florida Divorce Papers

News of a divorce can be devastating, especially when you don’t know the next steps. If you don’t know how to respond to a petition for marriage dissolution, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney. However, if you want to know your options before you call, read on!

Understanding Your Role

The petitioner is the spouse who files for the divorce. The defendant is the spouse who receives the petitioner’s request. As the defendant, it is your responsibility to file an answer to the request. In Florida, you typically have 20 days from the date you’re served to file a response.

Declining to Answer

You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to respond to divorce papers. If you decline to respond, you are “defaulting” on the proceedings. When the respondent defaults on the divorce, he or she will no longer take part in the divorce proceedings. The petitioner will meet with the judge and most, if not all, of the demands made by the petitioner will be accepted.

Giving an Answer

Answering the petition is not merely a matter of acknowledging the petitioner’s divorce request. You have the right to clearly state what aspects of the divorce papers you agree and disagree with. You may also use your answer to present other matters that you believe factored into the union’s demise. A response may also include a counter-petition in which you offer a marriage dissolution plan of your own.

Other Documents

An answer is not the only thing you must give when served Florida divorce papers. You must also submit a financial affidavit within 45 days of being served that outlines your expenses as well as your monthly income. Child support proceedings require additional documentation including a guidelines worksheet and a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit form that further helps with outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parents.

Call a Professional

You should not go through the response process, or any other part of your divorce proceedings, on your own. Seek a family law attorney today if you have been served divorce papers.

Call (904) 770-3141 now for a free initial consultation for your case!