The decision to divorce may be a long time in the making for a New York couple or it may occur quickly after a divisive life event. When the decision to pursue the legal process is made, however, it generally begins with one of the marital partners filing a legal petition with the courts to bring about the end of his or her marriage. Once that initial pleading is filed, the other partner to the marriage is given an opportunity to respond to the claims and requests set forth.
When a person receives a divorce pleading he is given a chance to respond with his own legal filing, which is generally called an answer. In his answer a party may state that he has received the other party's pleading and that he acknowledges the request for the divorce.
Then, the answering party may begin admitting or refuting the elements of the other party's pleading. For example, if fault is used as a basis of the divorce, the answering party may include claims that he or she was not at fault during the marriage or the answering party may refute claims in the initial pleading that the filing party should receive spousal support after the marriage ends.
The initial divorce pleading and responsive answer set up a couple's divorce so that it may be litigated and all of the important issues may be addressed If a party fails to submit an answer in response to his or her spouse's request for divorce, the requesting party may be granted a divorce by default.
Crafting a sound divorce answer can be difficult for a person who has just learned that his or her spouse wants to end their marriage. Many individuals choose to work with divorce lawyers to help them draft careful divorce pleadings.