What happens if I don’t respond within 60 days after my wife has filed for divorce?

I’m deployed to Iraq and my wife filed for divorce last month. The 60 days is up next month but I’m not getting served the divorce papers until then and I know I’m supposed to have 20 days to respond. What happens if I don’t respond within that 60 day window? Also, can she withdraw money from my individual checking account after she files for divorce?

Asked on August 26, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Please hire an attorney to help you with this as soon as you can.  When you say "the 60 days is up next month" what do you mean?  Under the Civil Relief Act, service members’ divorce proceedings may be postponed, at the discretion of the judge, for the length of their active service term, plus 60 days after their tour ends.  Are you accepting service of the divorce papers?  Even while deployed?  Generally speaking, if you do not file an answer to the Summons and Complaint within 20 days of personal service on a regular in the US spouse then a default judgement is taken against you.  As for the banking issues, how are they to know she filed for divorce?  If she has signatory or a bank card and the money in there is marital money she can withdraw but not "dissipate" marital assets.  Please get help.  And than you for your service to out country.


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