The Divorce Petition – The First Pleading Filed in Court
Evert divorce case in Utah is commenced by the filing of a petition. The party filing the petition is known as the petitioner. The party who responds to the petition is known as the respondent. Once the petition is filed the court has jurisdiction over the parties. The parties must either settle the issues on their own and then seek approval of the court or the court will decide the issues for the parties.
Advantages to Filing the Petition
Although the divorce process is impartial to the parties, there may be times when filing the petition works to the advantage to one of the parties. For example, filing the petition may allow one party the upper hand in terms of dictating the nature of the litigation. It can establish the petitioner’s demands and force the respondent to begin to think about his or hers own demands. It may also force the respondent to finally address the issues if the parties have previously tried to settle their differences without court intervention but one party acted dilatory.
What Happens After the Petition is Filed?
Once the petition is filed the respondent has a statutory time period to respond. If the respondent fails to respond the petition can then move for a default judgment. Typically, however, the respondent files a response and this forces the petitioner and the respondent to begin down the path of litigation. The petition will not be dismissed until the parties have settled their differences or the parties go to trial.
We Will Get the Process Going By Filing A Petition
If you are certain you will be divorcing make sure you file the petition so you can have some say over how the claims are litigated. The Utah divorce lawyers at Utah Divorce Hotline can help. Call us at 801.618.1331 or email us to get started by meeting with one of our law firm’s attorneys.