A divorce begins with the filing of the divorce petition by one party. Next, the petition will be served on the other party. Finally, the other party will have the right to respond with an answer. In most cases, the other party has approximately 30 days to submit the answer.

Refraining from answering the divorce petition would be like ignoring a lawsuit brought against you. The party filing the lawsuit could get everything that he or she wants if you don’t make your voice heard. As such, it’s important to always take the time to work with a divorce attorney to formulate a well-thought-out response.

The answer should acknowledge receipt of the divorce petition and state whether the respondent agrees or disagrees with the petition. The answer should then state various details about the marriage, a specific request relating to child custody, child support, spousal support and property division as applicable to the unique facts of the case.

The respondent will want to provide reasons, facts and perspectives that support all of his or her requests made within the answers. He or she may also want to assert arguments that reveal why the original divorce petitioner’s claims do not have a sound legal basis.

The creation of an answer to a divorce petition is not entirely straightforward for someone who has never been involved in a divorce before. Therefore, individuals who have been served a divorce petition might want to contact an attorney who can assist them in drafting their response in a way that protects their legal rights.