Strictly speaking, you are correct. Rule 12.170 (which references Rule 1.170) requires that counter-petitions be filed at the same time as answers. As a practical matter, though, judges will allow the late filing. The reason is that the counter-petitioner could just file the counter-petition as a separate lawsuit, then move to consolidate the two divorces. The result would be messier, the cost would be higher in filing fees, and judges take a more common-sense approach to things when they can.
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Most courts and judges will give a party an extension of time if a moiton to expand time is filed or requested and there was no abuse of requests for continuances or extensions in the past. Take care and good luck.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
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