After the Defendant is personally served, he or she has 21 days to file an Answer to the Complaint, or 28 days if he or she was served by certified mail. An Answer is a written document, often called a “pleading”, responding to each allegation of the Plaintiff’s complaint. It is filed in the same county as the Complaint for Divorce, and must be served on Plaintiff’s attorney.
If the Defendant does not timely file an Answer to the Complaint, the Plaintiff can request that the court “default” the Defendant. Once a Defendant is found to be in default, the court will allow the Plaintiff to enter a Default Judgment of Divorce without the consent of the Defendant, so long as the proposed Judgment complies with all applicable statutes and court rules.
Even in cases where the Defendant is in default, discovery may still be necessary to determine the Defendant’s income, employment benefits and the extent of the marital property and debt to be divided.
Our Plymouth, MI divorce attorneys provide clients zealous, compassionate legal representation. Call us today at 734-254-1140 to schedule a consultation.