The Importance of Working With A Divorce Attorney

What To Know About Divorce Counter-Petitions

Did your spouse serve you with divorce papers? If you are now obligated to respond with your answer, know that you have a right to file a counter-petition. Here is what you need to know about counter-petitions in divorce proceedings.

What Is A Counter-Petition?

A counter-petition is very similar to the petition for divorce that your spouse originally files with the court. It is your way of saying that you also want a divorce and makes it known to the court that you do not object to that arrangement. While it is not necessary to file a counter-petition, it is something that many people do when they are served divorce papers by filing the counter-petition along with the answer.

Why File A Counter-Petition?

The most common reason to file a counter-petition is to give you a bit more control in the divorce proceedings. If your spouse is the one that initially filed the divorce petition, then they can also decide to stop the divorce proceedings if they change their mind midway through the process. By filing the counter-petition, you will have made it clear to the court that you also want to get a divorce, and the divorce will not be thrown out if your spouse changes their mind. This will prevent you from having to start the process over and file your own divorce petition since a counter-petition is already filed. 

Another reason to file a counter-petition is if you disagree with the requests that were made in your spouse's original divorce petition. This often comes up when the person filing the petition makes a request for spousal support that you do not feel is fair. Your counter-petition can explain why you believe it is not fair and will help you request a different type of spousal support.

How Do You File A Counter-Petition?

You should work with a lawyer when filing a counter-petition to ensure that it is done properly. Your state will have its own time limit for how long you have to respond to the original divorce petition, which may only be a matter of a few weeks. You will want to file the counter-petition at the same time you file the answer as well.

Have more questions about how divorce counter-petitions work? Ask your divorce lawyer for more information. They will be able to walk you through the entire process and answer questions that you have.