Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com. Today we’re talking more about the response and in this video we’re answering the question, how long do you have to respond to a divorce petition once you’ve been served?
So the general rule, let’s cover 1st being served by personal service. If you’re served divorce papers by personal service if you look at the summons, the 1st thing it’ll say is you have 30 days to respond.
I want to address this. Nothing happens with the courts automatically in 30 days. The courts don’t have a calendar where once they receive the proof of service they indicate the 30 days and then something automatically happens to you.
The petitioner has to take a particular action and that action is they have to file a request to enter default. So even when people have called me on the 30th day say Tim, today is the last day. I don’t think I can respond anymore.
The answer is yes. You can still respond. In fact you can respond at any time up until the request to enter default has been filed and entered.
So even if 6 months to a year has gone by and the other party, the petitioner has not filed a request to enter default and it hasn’t been entered yet, you can still file your response. It’s not, it’s within 30 days otherwise at that point the petitioner can file the request to enter default preventing you from filing the response, but if for some reason it’s gone on for a period of time and you decide you want to respond as long as the request to enter default has not been filed and entered, you can still respond even beyond the 30 days.
Now I want to talk about another way of being served which is by notice and acknowledgment of receipt. Many times with our clients when they’re amicable we will not have that other party served the respondents served by a processor because no 1 likes that.
So we’ll simply mail out the copies to the respondent with a nice letter explaining what’s going on and a notice of acknowledgment.
It’s known as form FL 117 and this is a form you can sign as a respondent acknowledging receipt in lieu of people personally served. And in this case you’re not considered served upon receiving that in the mail, you’re served as the date you date that, and you have up to 20 days to sign that notice and acknowledgment and it says that right there on the form.
So in that case if you are signing the notice and acknowledgment, whatever date you sign it is going to be the date that starts the clock on not only the 6 months but the 30 days and as far as filing your response in your divorce.
Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com, hoping you have a great day. Talk to you soon.