What to do when you receive a divorce petition

If you’re received a divorce petition then you may want to consider your next steps carefully.

Quite often couples are aware of divorce as divorce is finally filed after years of separation and is well anticipated. In other situations, the divorce petition may come as a complete surprise to the person receiving paperwork. Many partners who receive a divorce petition often question what to do when you receive a divorce petition. We have compiled initial advice on how to respond and what actions to take upon receiving the divorce petition.

I received divorce papers now what?

Quite often upon receiving a divorce petition a partner has no idea what needs to do and often thinks I received divorce papers now what? After receiving divorce papers immediate action needs to be taken by the partner to protect their legal rights and future.

It is important to read the divorce petition carefully. This usually contains information of which the spouse needs to be aware of. The divorce petition lists the court where the petition was filed. The divorce petition also confirms a deadline by which a response must be provided as well as indicating whether your partner is acting on their own or have a representative. The divorce petition also states the grounds for divorce and highlights whether other issues such as financial matters and child custody issues need to be addressed.

Received divorce papers what do I do?

Received divorce papers what do I do? This is a common question. The answer to this depends on whether you agree to the divorce or not. If you agree with the divorce you need to complete the Acknowledgment of Service form and return it to the Court within 8 days of receiving the divorce petition. This begins the divorce process.

Received divorce papers what do I do if I disagree?

If the divorce petition is not agreed the Acknowledgement of Service still needs to be completed and returned to the court within 8 days by completing the section for defending the divorce. After this, you will need to complete an Answer to a Divorce Petition form, giving the reasons for defending the divorce and pay the Court fee.

How do you respond to a divorce petition?

Once your spouse has initiated divorce proceedings you will receive a copy of their divorce application. You will also receive a notice of proceedings as well as acknowledgement of service.

If your spouse applied for a divorce online then you must respond to the petition online. Your notice of proceedings will contain an access code which you will need to create an account. If an online response is required, then you must respond within 7 days of getting the notice of proceedings.

If your spouse has made an application for divorce by post, then you must complete and return the acknowledgement of service back by post. You must respond within 8 days of receiving the notice of proceedings.

Do I have to respond to a divorce petition?

Once you are in receipt of the divorce petition from your spouse or the court you are required to respond to the petition. Quite often some spouses may choose deliberately or unknowingly not to respond to the petition. A response to the petition is your opportunity to provide your position on the divorce to the court. By failing to respond to this you may lose some of your rights and may risk the courts proceeding with the divorce without your involvement.

Although the courts can deal with a divorce without your response, our specialists encourage parties to respond to the divorce to ensure they are kept up to date with any hearings and could address any issues which arise later.

Can I ignore a divorce petition?

Our family specialists have encountered that quite often a respondent who has received a divorce petition may chose to ignore this. If you chose to ignore a petition in the hope that this may prevent or a delay your divorce, then you need to reconsider your stance.

In such cases where the courts are satisfied that a petition has been deemed served the courts can progress the divorce without the respondent’s response. Although this can cause some delay it is not impossible to progress the divorce. Where a respondent seeks to ignore the petition, they must note that they risk their position.

By ignoring a petition which you have received you may not be made aware of any court hearings and may not be able to defend any issues which have been raised by your partner. Unless you agree to the divorce, ignoring a divorce petition is never a good idea. Upon receipt of a divorce petition you should seek legal advice to protect your position.

Contact our specialists today for a initial consultation to discuss the next steps and your options if you have received a divorce petition.

ree initial consultation to discuss the next steps and your options if you have received a divorce petition.

What happens if you don’t respond to a divorce petition?

Failing to respond to a divorce petition can have significant implications to your case. Your failure to respond to a petition may result in the courts not notifying you of any hearing dates. This is due to the courts believing that you do not wish to participate in the case.

A response to a divorce petition is to let the courts know your position in the case. It is also your opportunity to inform the court of what want to achieve from the divorce. By failing to respond to the divorce you could lose a lot of your rights.

Your failure to respond to a divorce petition may not necessarily prevent your partner form obtaining a divorce. Your spouse may still be able to obtain a divorce if they prove a fault ground for the divorce. Despite your failure to respond to the petition and failure to attend any hearing the judge may still grant the divorce. In such a case the judge can also make other decisions in the divorce and also address issues which your spouse wants to raise.

In conclusion by failing to respond to a divorce petition you may never be given the chance to present your side of the case. The court may issue orders against you which you could have defended. Your failure to respond may also cause the divorce to take a lot more time than you want and could impact you in progressing with your personal and family life.

Defending a divorce petition

As a respondent to a divorce petition you have the option to defend the divorce. This is usually the case where you disagree with any aspects of the divorce petition. In order to defend a divorce, you must first respond to the petition. Following this you will need to complete an answer to a divorce papers. You must do this within 21 days of responding to the petition. This court form is known as the Form D8B. by completing this form, you are advising the courts on your reasons as to why you disagree to the to the divorce petition. You may have to pay a court fee of £245.00 when submitting this form.

Once the Form D8B has been submitted to the family court with the relevant fee, the courts will list the matter for a court hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to allow you to attend and present your side of the case. You will come to an agreement with your partner over the divorce at this hearing. Our divorce law specialists have assisted many spouses in defending a divorce petition, and we could help you too.

Can I withdraw my divorce petition?

If you have filed a petition of divorce but your partner has not yet filed an answer or responded to the divorce, then you can withdraw your divorce petition. If, however your partner has filed an answer then you may not alone withdraw your divorce application.

Where an answer to a divorce has been filed then the petition for divorce can only be withdrawn if both parties agree to dismiss the case. If, however, the final divorce decree has been issued then you are not able to withdraw your divorce petition.

The process of withdrawing a divorce petition can vary. In some instances, a simple letter requesting the withdrawal of your petition can be sufficient. Alternatively, you may be asked by the court to fill out a form and return it to the court to withdraw your petition. Should you be in a position where you are considering withdrawing your divorce application contact our divorce specialists today for a free initial consultation to find out more.

Is it better to be the petitioner or the respondent in a divorce?

This is a common question our divorce specialists are asked about. However, the answer to this question is difficult and not straightforward. In divorce proceedings the petitioner is the person who has filed for the divorce. This often means they have a lot more to do than the respondent. This can be time-consuming as well as stressful.

The respondent on the other hand is the partner who answers the divorce petition. The role of the respondent can be less strenuous if the divorce is amicable. However, when the divorce needs to be challenged or contested this can also cause significant stress.

The answer to whether it is better to be the petitioner or respondent in a divorce depends on your personal situation. The main factor to consider is that you cannot file for a divorce using your own unreasonable behaviour or adultery as a ground. In such a situation it is up to your partner as to whether they initiate the divorce proceedings and become the petitioner.

What to do when you receive a divorce petition if you are out of the country?

Quite often couples often separate before making an application for a divorce. In such a case one partner may have moved or settled abroad. In such a situation you may receive divorce papers from your partner who remains within the United Kingdom. If you have received a divorce petition from your partner who is in the UK, then at Kabir Family Law we can assist. Our matrimonial experts are able to cater for clients who wish to pursue or a defend a divorce within the UK.

So whether you are a respondent who is based abroad, or a petitioner who is living abroad and wants to initiate a divorce in the UK we can help.

At Kabir Family Law we specialise in International Family Law and provide consultations to take place via Skype and WhatsApp at a time to suit your needs.

Get legal advice today if you have been served with a divorce petition

If you are still unsure on what to do when you receive a divorce papers, then you can contact Kabir Family Law. Our family lawyers in York as well nationally specialise in divorce Law and will be able to assist you in completing and returning your acknowledgement of service as well advising you on other issues concerning your divorce such as resolving your finances and child issues. Contact us today on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or let us call you back.

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Kabir Family Law Fulham
Chester House
1st and 3rd Floors
81 - 83 Fulham High Street
Fulham
London
SW63JA

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20-30a Abington Street
Northampton
NN1 2JA

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Kabir Family Law Oxford

1 & 3 Kings Meadow
Oxford
OX2 0DP

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Kabir Family Law Newcastle

Clavering House
Clavering Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 3NG

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Kabir Family Law London
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Holborn
London
WC1V6BX

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Tower Court
3 Oakdale Road
North Yorkshire
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YO30 4XL

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