What’s the next step after you got served?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What’s the next step after you got served?

The papers said I have 21 days to file a written answer with the court..what is that mean?

Asked on October 31, 2016 under Family Law, Michigan


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The answer denies the allegations in the complaint (lawsuit) or petition for dissolution of marriage if that was the document with which you were served.  It would be advisable to have an attorney write the answer or if you can't afford an attorney, a paralegal.  The answer is filed with the court along with a proof of service which verifies the date of mailing the answer to the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.
If the answer is not timely filed, you will lose by default.  If a default judgment is entered against you, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.
If you want to see the format for an answer, look in Pleading and Practice at the law library.  Look in the index for answer to complaint.

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