The respondent can file an answer as fast as they want, the slow part is the problem, if someone fails to answer then they may be defaulted. Take care and hope that things get better.
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.
The issue becomes when was the Respondent served with the divorce Petition. The deadline for the Respondent to file his Answer triggers from that day. Once the Respondent is served and not counting the day he was served, he has 20 days plus a Monday by 10:00 a.m. on that Monday to file his Answer. I would never advise a Respondent to wait until that last possible day and time. The old saying "better to be safe than sorry" definitely applies here.
Legal disclaimer: Ms. Woodâ€™s response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. All responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, provided for general information purposes, to the public -- not any specific individual. Ms. Wood is licensed to practice law in Texas.
The advice so far is correct, but your initial comments to the answer of your first-responder, Mr. Lewis, causes me to suspect strongly that you are not up to self-representation. Important rights are at stake. You would be best served by at least consulting with an experienced local family law practitioner. That attorney can be specific regarding required forms and may become essential if your husband contests any part of your petition.
Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
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