Stillwater Lawyer BlogMy Spouse Filed for Divorce in Payne County – What Now?

Payne County divorce attorney

Attorneys Can Provide You Peace of Mind

Divorce is always a difficult time for the family involved. We all hear horror stories about very difficult divorces, and some are difficult, but many are not. Regardless of the level of contentiousness in the process, it is important to contact a Payne County divorce attorney who can help you navigate the waters of your divorce. Not only will an experienced attorney help you deal with the legalities of the situation, but your attorney can act as a buffer between you and your spouse at a time when a buffer can provide more peace of mind.

Your Spouse’s Attorney Cannot Help You Through the Process

Your spouse’s attorney, though perhaps well-meaning, cannot represent both you and your spouse. As such, your spouse’s attorney should not be giving you legal advice regarding the handling of the divorce. It would be a conflict of interest for that attorney to represent both of you. You should never accept advice from your spouse’s attorney. You will need a Payne County divorce lawyer to represent your interests, not your spouse’s interests.

You Must File a Responsive Pleading

If your spouse files a Petition for divorce, you must file a responsive pleading within the required timeframe. The responsive pleading is usually an answer in which you “answer” the allegations asserted by your spouse in their petition. However, sometimes the responsive pleading is a counterclaim in which you make allegations against your spouse. Your attorney can help you decide which is the right response for you.

The worst thing you can do is, nothing. Your spouse will have made certain requests of the court in the originally filed petition. If you do nothing, the court may grant your spouse all that they request in the petition. Your lack of action now can affect your life for years to come.

Answers and Counterclaims: What is the Difference?

In Oklahoma, a Petition for Divorce is usually served on the other spouse along with a blank form “answer.”  As the responding party, you can use the form answer or a use a formal pleading answer. Both are equally valid.

The answer must respond to each allegation made by your spouse in their divorce petition. You indicate whether you agree or disagree with each allegation. You can either agree or disagree with every allegation.

In contrast, a counterclaim moves beyond simply agreeing or disagreeing with your spouse’s allegations. In a counterclaim, you make allegations as well and ask the court for the relief that you want. Sometimes that relief can be in regard to how property is characterized. Say your spouse has claimed that a piece of property belongs to the two of you as part of the “marital” property, but the property was actually an inheritance from a deceased family member. In the counterclaim, you can ask the court to properly characterize that property as your personal property rather than as marital property.

You can ask also the court to give you custody of any children of the marriage or ask the court to deny the alimony sought by your spouse, or ask the court to grant you alimony.

In almost all cases, it is better to have the advice and counsel of an experienced Payne County divorce attorney during this tumultuous time.

Free Consultation with Payne County Divorce Attorney

Get the help you need when you need it most. A Stillwater divorce attorney who can assess your legal matters is just a phone call away. Let us see what we can do to help you through this process. Your first phone consultation is always free at Wirth Law Office in Stillwater: (405) 673-1600.

To reach someone by written correspondence please submit an inquiry through the “Ask an Attorney” feature above.

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