Process and timeline for absolute divorce

I do not have an attorney. I was separated on Oct. 1, 2010. I do not have a separation agreement. My STBX’s attorney filed a complaint for absolute divorce and claim for ED on Oct. 7, 2011 and I was served on Oct. 14, 2011. He filed a voluntary dismissal of the claim for ED on Nov. 4, 2011. I am not contesting the divorce and have no outstanding issues with him except that I would like to have my maiden name restored.
Do I need to file an answer to his complaint? If so, is there a form for the answer?
What is my deadline for filing an answer?
How do I go about getting my maiden name restored?
What is the timeline and process for getting the divorce…when should I expect the divorce to be heard in court and to become final?

  1. No, you don’t have to file an Answer. If you do not file one, then the allegations outlined in the Complaint will be deemed admitted by you. There are sample Answers on the DIY portion of this website.
  2. You have 30 days from service to file an Answer.
  3. You can file an Answer and Counterclaim to his Complaint and request to resume your maiden name in that document. Or, you can choose to let the divorce happen and then contact the clerk in the county where the divorce was finalized and pay a $10 fee to change your name back. That might be easier for you.
  4. Although it can vary, it is typically 30-60 days after the divorce Complaint was filed before it is finalized. They have to wait 30 days to give you time to Answer and it could take extra time to get it on the docket in certain counties.

Crystal N. Russ