November 9, 2007

Divorce…did you know?

No matter what the circumstances are, receiving a Petition for Divorce (or dissolution) is no laughing matter. From this point going forward the legal process of your divorce has begun. As the non-filing spouse (respondent or defendant) in your case you are required, by law, to formally respond to the Petition within a specified amount of time (which is clearly stated on the summons). Should you fail to or elect not to formally respond, you will be in default, which means the court may proceed with the divorce without your participation and consent. If you are contemplating not responding, think twice, because you typically do not get a second chance.

Here are a few reasons you should thing about in regards to filing a response:

1. You must file a response to participate in your divorce
2. If you do not file a response, the judge may award your spouse all of his or her requests in the Petition.
3. Your response will let the court know what you agree and disagree with.
4. Your response will let your spouse know what you agree and disagree with.
5. Your response will set the stage for negotiation and hopefully lead to settlement.

My ex husband did not show up for the divorce hearing. He couldn’t get the day off work. I got everything I wanted and then some. I requested a specific amount for child support and the judge actually rose what I was requesting. He also wanted to give me alimony but I declined. We didn’t hire lawyers because together we really didn’t have much accept our kids and he wasn’t fighting for custody so it went really smoothly and in my favor. Not responding is the worst thing you can do. You can’t stop a person from wanting a divorce by not signing, you do nothing but hurt yourself. If you have any questions, there are paralegal services that can help or legal aide in some states that charge by your income. Legal mumbo-jumbo can be confusing. Know your rights.


Chelle Y. said...

Divorce is hard. Mine is almost final. I am sad, but ready to move on.

Lori said...

It's very hard. When you marry someone, you thinks its until death do us part. Unfortunately, more often than not, it doesnt end happily ever after. However, I havent given up hope. I believe there is a such thing and I plan to prove it someday:)We move on when we're ready. Dont be afraid, love like you've never been hurt.

The Gal Herself said...

I've never been married and I'm not a mom, yet I enjoy your posts. Especially this one. No one should ever sign or agree to anything without understanding it! Recently I actually enjoyed watching a coworker's divorce. (She's the one I've referred to in my blog as the weepy Miss Tears.) Her now ex dominated her in every way during their relationship -- good looking, charismatic, willful … Therefore, when he left her for another woman, it never ocurred to him to get legal representation. Wifey was always such a wuss after all. Well maybe Wifey was passive, but the lawyer she hired was not. To use your phrase, she got what she wanted and then some. My favorite part was when he called her lawyer to ask for clarification, then took the opportunity to hit on the lawyer, and she charged him for the call. Inevitably, there are going to be winners and losers in this legal system. We should each be prepared so we can be winners.