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Don't ignore a divorce petition when you are served with it

Learning that your spouse has filed for divorce might be a shock, but if you think a divorce is coming, you should learn about your options.

The most important thing for you to remember if you are served with divorce papers is that ignoring them can lead to problems. There are specific time limits that you have to respond. If you don't respond within the time allotted by law, you can lose your right to fight against the allegations of the divorce.

The first thing to do when you get served with the petition for divorce is to read through it thoroughly. You are bound to have some questions about what the petition means. Be sure that you get your questions answered right away so that you can determine how to answer the petition.

The divorce petition may contain information about property division, child custody and support payments. Each of these points needs to be considered carefully. In some cases, you will need to go through mediation or to trial to resolve these issue.

But before this happens, you will have to answer the divorce petition to make your position clear on each point addressed within the petition. This is usually done by replying line by line, or paragraph by paragraph, to each allegation that is made.

If you don't answer the divorce petition, the court is going to assume that you agree with the allegations stated in the plaintiff's petition. This is considered a default answer, which is why you need to ensure that you don't just ignore the petition.

Source: FindLaw, "Answering the Divorce/Dissolution Petition," accessed Jan. 19, 2017

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