How to respond to being served with a "complaint"


Hello, I want to first say thank-you kindly for your time to reply. I was served with a “complaint” from my spouse. I understand I have 30 days to reply. If I do not hire legal counsel, do I respond to each claim for relief in a letter type format? Thank-you again for your time.


If my spouse has requested full custody of our minor children and I don’t agree with it, would I want to reply to the complaint filed against me with an answer or file a counter complaint?


If I don’t counter claim and just reply to the “complaint” saying I don’t agree, am I giving up custody of my children by not filing a counter complaint?


One last question, how would I go about requesting an extension of 30 days to respond to the complaint?


You should look at the draft answer we have on our website for some guidance on how to answer the complaint and the sample complaint as a guide to filing a counterclaim. You aren’t giving up custody by not filing a counterclaim. You do not have to file a counterclaim for child custody, but if you do not, the opposing party can divorce the complaint and then you will be left without an order. You can get an extension for answering the complaint by filing a motion within thirty days of service.


Thank you very much. I think I understand. If I don’t hire an attorney to represent me in mediation, if we don’t come to a resolve, can I then hire an attorney to use in court?


Yes, you could hire an attorney at any stage of the litigation that you want.