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What Happens If You Fail to Respond to Divorce Papers in Florida


Were you served divorce papers in Florida? If so, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. After being served with divorce papers, it is in your best interest to submit a response.

To be clear, the failure to respond to divorce papers will not stop your marriage from ending — the divorce proceeding can still move forward. Indeed, the case is likely to proceed without your input.

If you received divorce papers and you have any specific questions about how to respond to them, you should reach out to an experienced Tampa divorce attorney for help.

What Happens if You Ignore Divorce Papers? 

When you are served with divorce papers, there will be a date listed on the summons. As a general rule, you have 20 days from the date of service to respond to divorce papers. What happens if you simply ignore the divorce petition or fail to send in your response in time? After the deadline passes by, your spouse will have an opportunity to seek a default judgement against you. As described by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, a default judgement is a legally enforceable court ruling that is based, primarily, on one party’s failure to take action.

The practical consequences of having a default divorce judgement entered against you can be significant. Essentially, the key issues in divorce will be resolved without your input. The court will only have your spouse’s side of the story to consider. Do you want to have any say on what happens in your divorce? If so, you need to respond to the divorce papers. By not responding, you are only hurting your case. Respond immediately: Call an experienced Tampa, FL divorce attorney for assistance.

How to Effectively Respond to a Divorce Claim

In responding to divorce papers in Florida, you can file an ‘answer’, a ‘counterclaim’, or both. Simply put, the answer is a response to your spouse’s allegations, statements, or complaint. You will have the chance to highlight the specific points with which you disagree. In a counterclaim, you can also raise new allegations, new facts, or new issues of importance.

By working with an experienced Hillsborough County, you can be confident that your side of the story will be well-articulated and presented in the proper manner. From there, the divorce proceedings can move forward to a resolution that respects you, your rights, your interests, and moves the case towards a reasonable and fair resolution.

Discuss Your Case With Our Tampa, FL Divorce Attorney Today 

At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., we know that the process of ending a marriage can be stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating. Our Florida divorce lawyers are here to protect your rights, your interests, and to make sure your case proceeds in the smoothest possible manner. To set up a confidential family law consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We represent clients in Tampa and communities all around Hillsborough County.


Location & Directions

Bubley & Bubley, P.A. is located in Tampa, FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Odessa, Tampa, Oldsmar, Land O Lakes, Thonotosassa, Valrico, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, St Petersburg, Plant City & Brooksville, Safety Harbor, Holiday, Trilby, Crystal Beach, Ozona, Apollo Beach, New Port Richey, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Port Richey, San Antonio, Spring Hill, Lithia, Pasco County and Pinellas County.

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