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If your spouse makes the decision to divorce you, there isn’t much you can do about it. You cannot force someone to stay married to you if you’re not ready to end your marriage. It’s a common problem in New York when one partner wants to make the marriage work and the other is over it. If your spouse files for divorce you do have some options, but none of them involve keeping your marriage intact. Once he files for divorce, the court will serve you with divorce papers. Once you are in possession of the paperwork outlining his divorce stipulations, you have so many days to respond to the petition.
Some of the information on the petition is more important than you realize. When you respond to this, you’re not just signing that you understand your marriage is over. You are signing that you agree to what he asked for. This might include child custody of some sort, financial requests, and it might even include alimony requests.
How to Handle the Petition
When you receive the divorce paperwork, you must read it carefully. If you’re not sure you understand what it means or what’s being asked of you, it’s imperative you ask a divorce attorney to go over the petition for you. This helps you understand what’s being asked of you, where you stand, and what is going on. If you’re not sure where this is going, you should always ask. Your response is not easy to change once you’ve responded to the petition.
If you don’t agree with what your spouse is asking for or how he wants to settle the divorce and your marital assets, send in your response to what he wants. Your legal rights allow you to challenge whatever he is asking for with what you want. Once your response is filed and it differs from that of your spouse, the court will appoint you to a mediator to help you iron out the details.
Withdrawing Your Response
If you file a response to the divorce petition and then change your mind, it’s not easy to get the response withdrawn. You must face a judge and ask him or her to withdraw your response and issue you more time to file a new one. It’s not easy to do, and your attorney can tell you what options you have. If you have proof you were forced to sign against your will, the judge will allow you to withdraw the first response and file a new one. You must have proof.
If there is a medical issue you responded and did not mean to, you might be able to talk the judge into allowing you to refile your original response with some modifications. If you were unaware of certain things in the marriage, such as the financial situation you are in, you might be able to tell the judge your spouse hid things from you and you were not made aware of these things until after you filed your response.
You can withdraw a response, but it’s not an easy task. The easiest way to do this is to speak to your attorney. He or she is able to provide you with options and help you file the withdrawal petition. You must have a valid reason with an explanation and evidence to back up your response. Without this, you might find the judge is unwilling to withdraw your original response in favor of a new one.
It’s possible, but it’s not easy. Before you turn in your response, take all the time you need inside the time you’re permitted. Find out what you need to know about your financial situation, your spouse’s financial situation, and really consider what you want and need. It’s easier to file the response correctly the first time than it is to ask to withdraw it.