Filing Responsive Documents With a West Virginia Divorce

Today,  I want to talk to you about the importance of filing responsive documents to anything that the other person has filed in court and also you actually showing up in court. I want to start with the topic of filing responses to documents that have been filed in court by the other person. Sometimes, I’ll get somebody who comes to me and they’ll say, look Chris, here’s what’s going on. The other person filed a petition for divorce. I am past the 20 days mark. Now, the way it typically works with a divorce petition is generally speaking, for the most part, you have 20 days to respond and it’s 20 days from when you actually got it in West Virginia. You might have a date where they filed on a certain date and then seven days later they actually get served and given the document.

Now, let’s say that you are outside of that timeframe and sometimes people will come to me and they say, Chris, I don’t know what to do,  I didn’t file an answer within the right amount of time. My advice to them is always to go ahead and file some sort of answer, some sort of responsive document to what has been found in court. Even if it’s late, in many instances I’ve seen courts be very forgiving when a person has actually gone and filed a responsive document even though the answer happens to be late. Even if it’s going to be late, it’s better to file a response late than filing nothing at all.

If you disagree with it, go ahead and file it. Just so the court is looking at it, but before you go into hearing so you can give your take on it. Now, the other question I get sometimes is whether they should actually show up to court. I always tell people who come to me and they’re asking for guidance and something show up to court because what’s going to happen is if you don’t show up to court and on the date there’s a very good chance that the other person is going to be given every last thing that they want. I’ve seen that happen before. I’ve been the attorney representing somebody and the other person doesn’t show up. When they don’t show up, they get totally walloped in court often times.

Make sure that you actually show up in court. That’s something that I think is very important. The two things to take from today’s article, number one, always file responses to anything that’s filed in court, whether you agree with it, whether you disagree, whether you agree or disagree with part of it. Number two, show up to court because the other person otherwise can get, we call it a default judgment. You may have trusted them at some point in the past, but that’s the one person in the world that you cannot trust. You’d be better off trusting some person that you randomly pick off the street and trusting your soon to be ex spouse in a divorce proceeding.Pritt+Feb+CTA+%281%29.jpg