When your spouse serves you divorce papers, you are known as the defendant in the divorce. As the defendant, you have 35 days to answer the complaint for divorce.  It is important that you follow these deadlines in order to get the divorce process started and have the process move as quickly as possible. However, as the defendant, your deadline may change depending on how you were served the complaint for divorce.

If your divorce complaint was personally given to you by the sheriff, you must file an answer to the complaint no later than 35 days after it was initially served to you. In some situations, the defendant must file an answer with the court within 35 days from the date that they signed an acknowledgment stating they received the complaint. Another option for the defendant to receive papers is if they were served by a substituted service. In this situation, the defendant may have more or less than 35 days to submit an answer because they have to file an answer by the date that was written on the order that permits the use of the substituted service.

If necessary, the defendant may request an extension so they have more time to answer. The extension may be up to 60 days but can not be extended again after that. In order to have a consented extension, both the defendant and the plaintiff must sign an agreement about the extension.

If you have questions about being served a complaint for divorce, contact us today.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.