Answer and Counter Petition for Divorce in Texas

Answer and Counter Petition for Divorce in Texas

Mar 09, 2023
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A person who is served divorce papers may be dismayed and even confused. You may be wondering how your marriage could have fallen apart so quickly.

What should your next steps be? The divorce lawyers at Mims Ballew HollingsworthFamily Law would like to walk you through the divorce process of filing an answer and counter petition for divorce in Texas.

What Are Divorce Papers?

When a spouse is served divorce papers, they are being handed the court forms to initiate the divorce process.

The initial divorce papers usually include:

  • A copy of the Original Petition for Divorce; and
  • The citation (issued by the court clerk’s office)

The Original Petition for Divorce is a form that provides your family’s information to the court. If your spouse is requesting the court to grant the divorce, then your spouse will need to sign the petition. Your spouse is considered the petitioner and you are the respondent. 

Once the appropriate papers are filed in court, then you will be served, meaning that you will be formally issued the court papers. You will be formally served the papers by a process server. In Texas, upon receiving the divorce papers, you have until 10 a.m. on the next Monday after 20 days have passed to respond.

What Should You Do Next?

Now that you have been served the divorce papers, you have a few options:

  • Do nothing: you can decide not to respond to the divorce papers, but it is not suggested. If you do nothing, the court will issue the divorce without your input, known as a “default judgment.” You will have no ability to weigh in on marital issues, including the distribution of assets, debts, or division of any property acquired during the marriage.

Note: even though you may have planned on responding, if you miss the deadline, the court will still issue a default judgment in favor of your spouse

  • File an answer: an answer is a formal document responding to the Original Petition. An answer should be a “general denial” of your spouse’s allegations without providing the reasons. You will still be allowed to raise the issues if your divorce is taken to court.
  • File both an answer and counter petition for divorce: in addition to filing an answer, you can also file a counter petition. This allows you to state your own allegations against your spouse. You will be able to lay out your side of the story and request certain relief from the court.

The circumstances behind your divorce will determine your best course of action. An experienced Forth Worth divorce lawyer will be able to recommend the best next steps.

Contact a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can blindside just about anybody. It is normal to feel frightened, confused, and even saddened when receiving divorce papers. Ultimately, your next steps will determine how you settle matters with your partner. If you are beginning the divorce process, the Fort Worth divorce lawyer at Mims Ballew HollingsworthFamily Law are by your side. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 

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Constance Mims

Constance Mims has over fifteen years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is Collaborative Law certified and is a shrewd negotiator, not to mention her experience in the most challenging child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and divorce issues, both in court and in the appellate arena.

Contact Us Today!

Put Our Team On Your Side

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817-900-8330

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    I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

    Loyd Camp
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    Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

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    Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

    William Hawthorne
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    Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

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    I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

    Dante Martinez
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    Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

    Autumn Colson
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    Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

    James Homerstad
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    Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

    Heather Varon
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    Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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    Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Constance Mims who has over 15 years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization..

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