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While there may not be anything that evokes a “pit of the stomach” feeling than being served with divorce papers, inaction could result in a loss of rights, property and other entitlements gained during the marriage.
Obviously because a divorce is a lawsuit that is initiated by the filing of a petition, the party being filed against, or respondent, is then obligated to file an answer within a prescribed amount of time, usually a time frame of 20 days from the date of the service of the petition. Regardless of the respondent's desire to work the issues of the marriage out, in most states containing no-fault divorce laws, the petitioner can obtain a divorce with or without an answer by the respondent.
In order to maintain and preserve all rights, especially if there are children and marital property involved, it is imperative that divorce lawyer be consulted, especially before entering into any type of agreement with the petitioner.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|