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How do you answer an Illinois divorce petition?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2021 | Divorce |

Whether or not you want a divorce, your spouse has decided that it’s time to end the marriage. What is this process going to look like?

First and foremost, the divorce papers should be legally served to you. When they get delivered, you are officially beginning the process. Your spouse simply saying they want a divorce is not enough. It only begins when the papers are legally served.

How soon should you answer?

To answer, you need to respond to the papers and file them with the clerk of court. You have 30 days to do so. The 30 days begin when the papers are served, not when your spouse decides to file or when the papers are created. You must have enough time to read them over, consider what they mean, and answer them properly.

What happens if you do not answer at all?

Some people opt not to answer, especially in cases where they do not want to get divorced. Others simply forget to answer or wait more than 30 days. This does not stop the divorce. Your spouse does have to wait for the 30 days to give you a chance, but, if you do not answer, they can then seek a default judgment in the divorce. This allows the court to end your marriage on your spouse’s terms. It is far better to respond in a timely manner.

Your role in the process

If you’re getting divorced, you need to understand your role in the process and you need to know all of the legal steps to take moving forward.