A person who receives divorce papers has 20 days to file an "answer," which is a statement that informs the court about his decision regarding the divorce, according to LawHelp.org. He must answer as to whether he agrees with the divorce complaint and whether he agrees with what his spouse asks the court to do.Continue Reading
LawHelp.org states that a copy of the answer should be mailed to the person who filed the divorce. Legal Aid of West Virginia points out that an answer can be filed at any time during the protected answer period, which is usually 20 days. If no answer is filed, the court waits for the protected period to end before making decisions about the case. Anyone who receives divorce papers should file an answer to ensure that he gets notified of all proceedings in the case, as those who fail to give an answer may not be notified of future hearings and therefore may lose the opportunity to be present to share their side of the case. If the person who received the divorce papers does not file an answer, the divorce case can still proceed by filing for a default, according to LawHelp.org.
A spouse who gets served with divorce papers can also file a counterclaim along with the answer, according to Legal Aid of West Virginia. A counterclaim is a request for divorce on any grounds the person filing believes are appropriate and typically contains that person's requests for relief.Learn more about Law
Should a spouse refuse to sign divorce papers, it is still possible to proceed with the divorce by filing legal paperwork as a single petitioner. According to LegalZoom, a spouse's signature is only necessary if both parties are agreeing to the divorce petition by filing jointly. Alternatively, one spouse can obtain a legal complaint for divorce (not the joint version), fill it out and file it.Full Answer >
When a divorce is uncontested, the couple must typically wait anywhere from 30 days to 12 months based on their state's prescribed waiting period for divorce finalization, according to McKinley Irvin Family Law. Divorces that require negotiation or litigation can take several months to over a year to play out.Full Answer >
People who legally change their name in California must file court papers, record the "Order to Show Cause for Change of Name" in a newspaper publication of general circulation once a week for four weeks and then ask the court for a decree. As of October 2014, this process usually takes up to three months, depending on the caseload of the court in question, notes the California Courts website.Full Answer >
The time required to serve court papers varies between the process server chosen and whether an expedited service, such as same-day service, is used or not, states ServeNow. Many process servers offer faster turnaround times for higher costs.Full Answer >