Responding to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage can be just as important as initiating the process, because it can preserve your rights—especially if you are unrepresented. It is common in Minnesota when both parties are represented to “skip” answering the petition entirely. However, if you are unrepresented, you can expect to prepare, file, and serve a formal Answer.
The Answer and Counter-Petition
The spouse that was served with the Summons and Petition has a short period of time in which to review and respond to the petitioning spouse. Minnesota Statute § 518.12 provides a party 30 days in which to answer the petition. The non-moving spouse may also counter-petition, and ask that the court for his or her own relief. If the non-petitioning party does not serve an Answer and fails to appear in the proceeding then they could be defaulted, which means that the petitioning spouse can obtain a divorce decree that grants any/all relief requested.
Contact a MN Divorce Attorney
Some or all of these terms and forms may be foreign to you, but they are not to us. Uncoupling from a spouse is stressful, emotionally taxing, and often more difficult than expected. In a situation as personal as your divorce, it is important to feel comfortable with your representation. You need a competent attorney who will navigate the courts, forms, and legalese on your behalf so you can focus on writing the next chapter of your life. To discuss your options in filing for divorce or responding to a Summons and Petition, contact our Minneapolis divorce attorneys for a free consultation.