What Happens After A Petition Is Served

Cindy Best


Other Issues

After the petition is served, each spouse is entitled to his or her own income. This income may be subject to child support and/or spousal maintenance that can be retroactive to the service or the separation date. Also, each party is responsible for his or her own debt incurred after that service date. Until the petition is served, all debt is presumed community. One of the ways to avoid the community debt is to prove community waste, which is beyond the scope of this book.

What Happens After the Papers are Served?
After the service of the petition other ?clocks? beginning ticking. For example, within forty (40) days after a party has been served with the initial documents, documentation concerning finances and property needs to be disclosed to the other party. This is mandated in Family Rule 49, which requires?

Depending upon what you request in your petition or response to dissolution or legal separation, you may be required to prove certain requests. For example, you may need to establish:

  • The birth and parentage of children
  • The acquisition of marital property
  • The existence of community debt
  • The requirement of child support
  • The need for spousal maintenance
  • The ability of the other spouse to pay support and/or maintenance
  • The fact and fairness of any settlement agreement
  • Excessive and abnormal expenditures
  • Destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of marital property
  • One spouse?s need and the other spouse?s ability to pay attorney?s fees

    The proof required may be in the form of witnesses, documentation, demonstrative evidence, presumptions and judicial opinions.

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