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How to Respond to Being Served Divorce Papers

author image Mike Broemmel
Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.
How to Respond to Being Served Divorce Papers
Woman filling out papers at table. Photo Credit: JackF/iStock/Getty Images

Once served with divorce papers, you have legal obligations you must tend to in fairly short speed. Divorce papers include both a petition or complaint for divorce, a document that outlines the claims being made by your spouse. The papers also include a summons, a form from the court where the divorce case was filed. The summons sets a deadline by which you must file a response to the divorce petition, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. Protecting your interests in a divorce case requires you to understand how you must respond to being served divorce papers.

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Step 1

Obtain an answer or response form from the clerk of the court where the divorce case was filed. In nearly all jurisdictions, you obtain this type of form from the clerk's office. In some locations, the court maintains a website from which you can download this form.

Step 2

Fill out the answer, setting forth your responses to the accusations and contentions made by your spouse. The clerk provides instructions to assist with this process. Sign the document and obtain a notarization of your signature.

Step 3

Return the completed answer or response to the clerk of the court for filing. Deliver the document in person or mail it to the court clerk. If you elect to mail the form, use certified delivery, return receipt requested. This type of mailing allows you to confirm receipt of the answer or response by the clerk.

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