If you have been served with a divorce complaint in the state of Georgia, it is important that you file an official answer to the complaint. Ignoring the complaint may cause you to lose certain rights and may allow your spouse to obtain a default judgment against you. In Georgia, the complaint for divorce must be answered in writing within 30 days of receipt.
Caption your answer the same as the divorce complaint with the name of the court, name of the parties and the civil action number. Title the document "Answer" or "Answer and Counterclaim" if you intend also to file a counterclaim.
Answer each and every paragraph of the allegations set forth in the complaint for divorce with a separate sentence in your answer. You may answer the allegations by admitting, denying, claiming not enough information to admit or deny or indicating that the allegation is partly true.
Assert any reasons that you feel the divorce should not be granted at the end of the answer section. This refers to legal reasons only, such as that a divorce was already granted in another jurisdiction or the court does not have jurisdiction to grant the divorce.
Complete a counterclaim section if you wish to make counterclaims. In this section you are the petitioner and your spouse the respondent.
Provide a service of process paragraph attesting that you will serve the answer on your spouse. You can use the service of process paragraph found on the complaint as an example. Sign the document.
Make several copies of the document. File the document with the clerk of court where the complaint was filed. The clerk provides you with file-stamped copies for your records. Send one copy to your spouse via certified mail.
It is always best to consult with an attorney before attempting to proceed pro se whenever possible.
- man and woman divorced image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com