Promptly Answer a Divorce Petition to Uphold Your Rights

Individuals do not have unlimited time to decide how they will respond when a spouse serves them with divorce papers. Divorce petitions must be answered in 20 days, so you will want to consider what your fair share from the marriage is and which attorney you’ll want to represent your side of the divorce. Do not ignore the petition, as your other spouse could receive a default divorce and leave you with consequences that could diminish your rights to assets, finances, and child custody.

If you find yourself getting emotional or stuck, it helps to get the support of your family and friends to keep you from being stalled. Read every part of the petition thoroughly and be sure to fully understand what it all means. Remember that the next chapter will be all about focusing on yourself and your kids, so do what it takes to muster the courage to face the reality of what is happening and not close yourself off to your kids and their needs.

Ignoring the petition will only leave you with more heartbreak and stress. It can create a default divorce, where you could also end up having your wages garnished for child or spousal support. And chances are high that you will not receive a notice of the final hearing date either if you do not respond.

The best advice after finding the right divorce attorney to represent you is to get your finances organized and game plan together. Get the records of assets, property deeds, and any mutual businesses so that you are aware of what your share is. It is also smart to review all credit cards and bank accounts that are in both names. In the event that your spouse is prone to go on a spending spree, you will want to remove their name from key accounts or cards. Dedicating some time to analyze your true monthly bills is also helpful. Many divorces lead to an individual needing to cut spending habits and building a fund worth of six month’s reserves for any future, unexpected events that might come up.

As hard as receiving a divorce petition is, you owe it to yourself to find a skilled divorce attorney to help you through all the steps. An attorney can assist you with effective legal advice to set the foundation for a better stage of your life. In Florida, Brandon family law attorney Joshua Law counsels individuals to achieve their divorce goals. As part of Osenton Law Offices, the firm stands by its commitment to high-quality client service and the latest in technology to help secure the best outcome in every divorce case. To learn more, call 813.654.5777 or visit

O. Reginald (“Reggie”) Osenton is the Owner and President of Osenton Law Offices, P.A. If you need a Brandon family law attorney, Tampa family law attorney, or Brandon divorce attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit