Responding to a petition

If you are the Respondent you will receive from the court a copy of the petition and the supporting documents.  You also get an acknowledgement of service form.

You should acknowledge service.  If you don’t respond the Petitioner can continue as though you had agreed with the petition.

Within the acknowledgement of service you can indicate that you intend to defend the petition.  It is perfectly proper to say that you don’t intend to defend but also to say that you don’t agree with what is in the petition.

If you are going to defend you will need to fill in an “answer to a divorce petition”.  You can find one here:

Sometimes someone who receives a divorce petition responds by filing their own divorce petition.  This is to be avoided if possible.  If both parties want a divorce then issuing a second petition will just increase the costs and complicate matters.

This next couple of points cannot be stressed enough:

The fact that one party “got the divorce” is not relevant when it comes to sorting out the money in the marriage.

In the same way, the fact that the divorce was because of “unreasonable behaviour” is very unlikely to have any effect on the way the money is sorted out.  Cases where the court finds that “conduct” is relevant to sorting out the money are extremely rare.

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