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Answering a divorce petition -- what must be included?

As numerous couples in Maryland and elsewhere make the decision to end their marriages, there can be a lot of confusion about what both parties must do to get the process started. The divorce process generally starts when one spouse files a dissolution petition. This petition is then served to the other spouse, known as the respondent. He or she then must decide if or how to respond.

There are generally two options when dealing with a divorce petition: answer or not to answer. Failing to answer a divorce petition within the allotted time frame may result in an uncontested divorce being granted. This means that the court will assume the respondent agrees with the proposed settlement and the divorce petition will be granted as written.

For those who do choose to respond to dissolution petitions, various pieces of information will need to be included. By sending an answer, one is showing that he or she acknowledges the request for divorce. He or she may then give information stating that he or she agrees with the proposed settlement in the petition or that there are some issues or disagreements that must be addressed.

Answering a divorce petition may feel like a monumental task, especially if there are numerous disagreements between both parties. Thankfully, Maryland residents who are at this stage of the divorce process do not need to tackle this alone. With the assistance of legal counsel, it is possible to respond to a dissolution petition in a timely and appropriate manner and prepare for what is to follow.

Source: FindLaw, "Answering the Divorce/Dissolution Petition", Accessed on June 14, 2016

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