How do I answer a summons for a no fault divorce?
02/01/2007 - Divorce - State: MI #999
I was served with a summons, regarding a Michigan “no-fault” divorce. How do I counterclaim and answer the no-fault statement in the summons?
Michigan is a "no-fault" state. The court has the power to terminate the relationship between the parties regardless of who did what to whom. Fault does play a role however, in the court's determination of child custody, property rights and spousal support.
The summons explains to the defendant what is going on and certain rights that he has:
a. That he/she is being sued.
b. The name of the Court in which he/she is being sued.
c. When he/she must file an answer.
d. The fact that a default judgment will be entered if no answer is filed.
The summons (or process) is delivered by an “officer” of the court or someone authorized by statute must normally be served on the individual defendant. A complaint is a general statement of the plaintiff’s claim. The complaint must describe the actions that led to the claim.
In the answer, the defendant tells his side of the story. He is supposed to admit facts that are true and deny allegations that are not true. This answer must be filed within the time described in the summons/process. Failure to file an answer can result in a default judgment against the defendant. This is a judgment for failure to defend that is entered against the defendant just like there had been a trial.
The defendant can file a counterclaim against the plaintiff as part of his or her answer. Like the complaint, the counterclaim must describe the actions that led to the counterclaim. The effect of the counterclaim is that the defendant is suing the plaintiff in the same action. The plaintiff must file an answer to the counterclaim or a default judgment will be taken against him.
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02/01/2007 - Category: Divorce - State: MI #999
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