Filing a Response and Counterclaim in Divorce

response-and-counterclaimYou Must File a Responsive Pleading

So your spouse has filed and served you with a Petition for Divorce in Oklahoma. Being on the receiving end of this petition can be an emotional experience if you don’t know that it is coming. And how you respond to a divorce petition matters.

You can prepare and file an answer to the petition alone or an answer and counterclaim. But make sure to file one or the other. The worst thing that you can do is nothing.

Your spouse will have made certain requests of the court in the originally filed petition. If you do nothing, the court may grant your spouse all that they request in the petition. You must file a response and you may want to file a counterclaim.

Here are some things that you’ll want to know about filing a response and counterclaim in an Oklahoma divorce.

An Answer is a Responsive Pleading

In Oklahoma, a Petition for Divorce is usually served on the other spouse along with a blank form “answer.”  In an answer, whether a form answer or a pleading, you answer (or respond to) each allegation made in the divorce petition. You indicate whether you agree or disagree with each allegation.

You Can Also File a Counterclaim

You also have the ability to file a counterclaim in response to a divorce petition. In your spouse’s petition, your spouse has asked the court for certain things such as custody of the children or alimony. Your spouse may characterize a piece of property that belongs to you solely as “marital” property. Or your spouse may leave out certain assets that you believe belong to the marital estate.

Filing a counterclaim is your chance to ask the court for relief. You can ask the court to deny your spouse full custody of the children and request that you be granted custody instead. You can ask that certain property be confirmed as marital property or that it be confirmed as your sole property, depending on the circumstances.

While filing an answer allows you to respond to the claims made by your spouse in their petition, a counterclaim allows you to ask for certain kinds of relief even if that issue was never mentioned by your spouse in their petition.

Unless your divorce is of the very simplest kind in which both spouse agree on all the issues and there are no children involved, it is always best to have your attorney work with you on determining the appropriate responsive pleading to file when you have been served with a divorce petition.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Family Law Attorney

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