It is important for every person who is served with a Florida petition for dissolution of marriage to respond to the petition in a timely manner.
The petition, which sets out what a person wants a judge to do (such as dissolve the marriage, rule on custody, order child support, and divide marital property and debt), is generally personally served by a sheriff’s deputy or other authorized process server. Once served, the respondent has 20 days to provide an answer to the petition and agree or disagree with the petitioner’s requests and allegations.
If the respondent does not provide an answer in a timely manner, the clerk or judge may enter a default. This essentially means that the petitioner’s allegations will be seen as true, and his or her requests may be granted without any input from the respondent.
The 20 day rule also applies to people who receive other Florida family law petitions, such as petitions for adoption, temporary custody, or relocation.
If you have questions regarding a Florida family law petition and you wish to schedule a consultation with a Tampa Bay family law attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or by filling out our online form.