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Served divorce papers — now what?

When papers of marriage dissolution are initially served, it is normal to feel a variety of emotions. This can be a confusing and challenging time in one’s life. As difficult as it may seem, once divorce papers are received, the respondent only has a short window to answer the petition. For those dealing with this type of situation in New York or elsewhere, a family law attorney can be a great resource and guide when it comes to preparing one’s response and moving forward with the process in its entirety.

The window to respond to a divorce petition in New York is approximately 30 days. If one fails to respond, the petitioner may be granted an uncontested divorce and given the settlement he or she requested in his or her initial petition. For those who do take issue with the proposed settlement, time is of the essence.

Answering a divorce petition does not have to be difficult. There is some key information that does need to be included, however. First and foremost, an answer simply must acknowledge the request to dissolve the marriage. After that, the respondent will want to include any agreements or disagreements he or she has with the petitioner’s assertions.

Depending on one’s personal circumstances, one’s answer to a divorce petition may be short or fairly lengthy. In either case, preparing an answer is something that should be done with careful thought and consideration. With legal assistance, New York residents who are in the beginning stages of the divorce process can prepare an appropriate response and also take any other necessary steps toward achieving a fair and balanced settlement.

Source: FindLaw, “Answering the Divorce/Dissolution Petition”, June 14, 2016

Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

Although this will impact the in office and in person services that LIT can provide, we will still be working remotely from our homes to serve our existing clients and we will continue to serve the public on a remote basis with any new legal matters for which they may need assistance.

We as a nation have overcome great obstacles in the past and although the challenges that lie ahead of us as community, as a state, and as a nation are great, we will overcome them as our resilience as individuals, as a community and as a nation will allow us to prevail.

May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP


Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 845-566-5345

For more information regarding the COVID-19 virus please visit any of the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NYS Department of Health

Orange County Dept. of Health

Ulster County Dept. of Health

For information and updates regarding court postponements or closings please visit:

NYS Unified Court System

9th Judicial District

3rd Judicial District