Pro se: Respond to summons & divorce complaint ASAP


#1

I was served a civil summons for absolute divorce and have very limited time to respond. I had representation last year to reply to the Divorce from Bed & Board (which she never followed through with due to trying to reconsile) but my attorney has withdrawn from representing me due to his personal health. The response to the Bed & Board was granted a 30 day extension, when a response was filed it was just “agree/disagree” with no counterclaim.

Question #1: Can I file an extension for my response and counterclaim to a motion for absolute divorce and is it a specific form # or I creat it? giving me the opportunity to seek proper representation

Question #2: If I can’t get an extension can I just respond (agree/disagree) to each claim in her motion, and file the counterclaim later…or does my counterclaim have to be included in the response? She didn’t ask for alimony knowing she’s an adulterer, can I add a section asking for spousal support because it’s a counter claim when she never asked to begin with (FYI- I’m unemployed/searching while she makes a steady salary which isn’t huge but more than my $0 a month.

Question #3: I was served on Aug 10th & The 30 days to respond falls on this weekend. Does that mean I need to file tomorrow or am granted till the next business day being Monday?

I made the mistake of not imediately seeking counsel due to shock my marriage of 20 years is realy over. This sucks! Please help with some guidance…


#2

when addressing equitable distribution her attorney referenced " equitable distribution as provided by NC GEN. STAT 50-20 et seq & NC GEN STAT 50-21, as well as any other statut or law relative to same. That the Plaintiff <> is entitled to an unequal division of the marital estate."

I read both statues completely and mainly interpret them as setting equal distibution of marital assets/debts.

Question #4: Should i be concerned with her attorneys selection of wording after referencing the Status 50-20 &50-21 but then specificaly saying “she is entiled to an unequal division of the marital estate”? Is this a legal tactic to give her an advantage in splitting property?


#3

(1) You can seek an extension to answer the divorce complaint, but this does not guarantee that a divorce will not be granted by way of summary judgment motion before your time to respond is up.

(2) You should file your counterclaim at the time you respond to the complaint. If you respond to the complaint and an action for spousal support is not contained in a counterclaim at the time the divorce is granted, you will lose your right to ask for support.

(3) If the 30th day falls on a weekend, you have until the end of business on the Monday (or first business day) after the weekend to file an answer.

(4) I cannot answer without reading the entire complaint, but it is customary to ask for an unequal division of assets.


#4

Isn’t there any recourse to responding to the claim after the 30 days?


#5

If you wait to file an answer past the 30 days, the plaintiff can obtain a divorce by default.