If you have already been served with a petition for divorce, petition to establish paternity, child custody, parenting time, child support, or petition for modification of child custody, parenting time, and/or support, you will need to file a response. Depending on where you were served you have a specific amount of time to file a response. If you were within the State of Arizona you have 20 days from date of service, outside of the State of Arizona you have 30 days. You should meet with an attorney for a consultation to review the documents you have been served with and discuss your options.
A response is how you tell the court whether or not you agree with what the other party is asking for in their pleading. It is also your time to explain how you believe the issues brought by the other party should be handled. In some cases a response may also contain any additional requests you may have regarding the matter brought before the Court. Depending on what you were served with there may also be other documents you will need to file with the court.
Whatever documents you have been served with, it is always in your best interest that you do not ignore them. Just because you do not respond does not mean the matter will go away. In fact, if you do not file a response within the proper amount of time the other party may file for a default and then ten days later request a default hearing or have your matter concluded without a hearing. Either way, you run the risk of decisions being made and orders being filed without any input from you. You may end up being ordered to pay support in an amount more than you would have had you participated in the proceeding.
If you have been served with any form of family court pleadings, it is highly recommended that you, at the very least, find an attorney to speak with to discuss your options. If you would like to be contacted by my office, and be scheduled for a free consultation, please fill in your information where indicated on the right side of this page or call my office at 602-404-9733.