Spouse’s Response to Divorce Petition

Upon being served, your spouse has a limited amount of time to respond to the divorce petition. The deadline to respond is listed within the divorce petition’s “Summons” page. If your spouse wants to respond, but needs more time, then they may ask the court for an extension beyond the deadline.

If the spouse fails to respond, then they have defaulted. Upon filing a motion for an order allowing judgment by default, and having it granted, you will likely receive what the petition asked for.

If your spouse agrees with everything you put into the petition, then they may sign a “joinder,” which is an agreement to join the petition. The court will make the couple wait for at least 90 days and then the divorce can be finalized if everyone is still in agreement.

On the other hand, if your spouse does not agree with what you asked for in the legal papers then it is a contested divorce. In that scenario, your spouse will file a counter-petition response. The counter-petition response typically allows your spouse to say which parts of the petition they agree with and which parts they’re contesting. For example, your spouse might have different ideas on how to split of the assets and debts or whether someone should pay spousal support. Additionally, if you have children, then the counter-petition will likely include a proposed parenting plan.

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Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.

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