Defendant queries

  1. A reply to a divorce complaint is not necessary. It will only delay the divorce being granted by a number of weeks, not indefinitely.
  2. Not replying will not impact the defendant unless you have not filed for Equitable distribution and need to do so.
  3. Not sure on this one…wait for attorney response.
  4. The 60 days begin when you have been served. You have that amount of time to reply.
  5. At the end of the time frame given if there has been no reply, the plaintiff must have a “hearing” scheduled to go to court before the judge and say that yes you have been separated at least one year and one day…possibly that all issues of ED have been resolved if there are any or will be decided at a later date. After the court grants the absolute divorce, they will send a divorce decree. I’m fairly certain that you will both receive copies, either through attorneys or through mail.

Caveat to #4: You can get a divorce in less than 60 days. (Mine was 20 from filing to when the decree was granted.)

However, both parties (and their respective attorneys) need to cooperate in doing so, and there may be extra paperwork involved. (I filed. In my X’s answer, she waived further notice of proceedings, as well as admitting all allegations in my complaint. My attorney then filed a motion for summary judgement and calendared it for the earliest time she could.)

  1. You do not need to reply to the divorce complaint, however if you do not respond the court will assume you are denying the allegations.

  2. If you do not reply the court can grant the divorce without input from you. It will not have any negative impact unless the divorce cuts off your right to Equitable Distribution or Alimony.

  3. There is no form for a reply, it is a document where you respond line by line to the allegations of the other party.

  4. There is no sixty day waiting period, the person filing for the divorce needs to wait thirty days from the date of service to pursue a divorce based on summary judgment. There are times when this time line can move quicker.

  5. If you take no action you should be served with a copy of the divorce judgment once it has been entered.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

What is the process by which a defendant has to reply after he/she has received the complained from plaintiff via certified mail? I have a few question about the divorce process as a whole-

  1. Is the reply required?
  2. What happens if there is no reply to the complaint? Can it impact defendant in any negative way?
  3. If one does want to reply, what should he/she write in the document, where can this document be found?
  4. When does the 60 days period in an absolute divorce start? After palintiff has received acknowledgement signed by defendant and submitted necessary documents in the court, or from the day when complaint was firt filed in the court?
  5. If there is notthing to be divided such as property or money and defendant chooses to take no action (no reply to the complaint), when and how does he/she know if the divorce has been granted?