How to Respond to a Post-Divorce Motion

By Rob Jennings J.D.

Even though your marriage ends when the judge approves your divorce decree, it doesn't necessarily follow that your divorce case itself is finished. You may have a variety of outstanding issues remaining to be resolved before you can count the family court system completely out of your life. Additionally, you may find yourself grappling with motions to modify prior court decisions on child custody, child support or spousal support. Responding to your former spouse's post-divorce motions requires an understanding of your state's unique family law and civil procedure codes.

Step 1

Review the motion and any corresponding affidavits or certifications to determine exactly what your former spouse is asking the court to do and what facts underlie her assertions. Depending upon your state -- and the opposing attorney -- the motion may be very fact-specific or bare-bones minimum. Review the documents with which you were served and compare the allegations against what you know to be true.

Step 2

Review your state's civil procedure code to see if your ex-spouse's filing is one that requires a written response. Unlike an original petition or complaint, motions don't always require written responses in every jurisdiction. If a written response is allowed or required, there will usually be a deadline for filing one. These deadlines will vary by state law.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Determine what form your written response must be in if you're required to file one. In most states, you have the option of filing your own affidavit or certification. Depending upon the circumstances, you may want to file a "cross-motion"-- a motion of your own that centers around the same basic set of circumstances. When one parent files a motion for contempt for failing to pay child support, for example, the other parent may file a motion asking the court to deny the first motion presented and reduce child support. In a cross-motion, you're asking the court to grant you your own relief being sought, not simply deny the other party's request.

Step 4

Put your written response or cross-motion in the correct format for your state and locality. At a minimum, your first page needs to contain the case caption -- the names of the parties, state, county and court where the action is pending, and the case number. You can review the public access files at your local courthouse to see how others have styled their responses to similar motions.

Step 5

Sign and date your motion before filing with the clerk and serving it on your ex-spouse -- or, if she's represented by an attorney, serving it on the attorney. Although civil procedure varies from state to state, all filings by unrepresented parties generally have to bear that party's signature. Your signature constitutes your certification that everything you have written is true and that you're not making the filing for an improper purpose.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Appeal a Divorce Decree From a Default Hearing


Related articles

How to File a Motion for a New Pendente Lite Hearing for a Divorce

Pendente lite orders don’t last forever. They’re temporary until a judge rules on a final divorce decree, or until you and your spouse agree to a settlement the judge signs into a decree. If a judge issues a pendente lite order that you think is unfair, you can challenge it when you ultimately go to trial, or change it in your settlement agreement. However, you might not want to wait that long, especially if you're headed for trial. Judges often figure that if the terms of a pendente lite order work well while your divorce is pending, there’s no reason not to make them permanent in a decree.

How to Obtain a Divorce if There Are No Children & It Is Uncontested in the State of Kansas

The process for filing an uncontested divorce without children in Kansas is relatively straightforward. Kansas permits no-fault divorce; therefore, you do not need to allege any marital wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce decree in the Sunflower State. Rather, you only need to allege that you and your spouse can no longer live together as husband and wife due to incompatibility. Before proceeding with an uncontested divorce in Kansas, you must first satisfy the residency requirement. In Kansas, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of 60 days prior to filing.

How to Answer a Summons for Modification of Alimony

If your ex-spouse has filed a motion with the court to modify alimony and you disagree, you must file an answer to the summons you received. If you do not respond, the court will issue a default judgment in your ex-spouse's favor and she will get what she wants. How to answer a summons will depend on where you live and what the summons says.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File a Motion for Contempt in a Divorce Case

The battles in your divorce case don't always end when the judge rules on the last open issue. You may find yourself ...

How to File a Motion for a Divorce Hearing

A motion for a divorce hearing is usually asking for an order granting one of the parties temporary relief while the ...

How to File a Divorce Disclosure Statement

Before a divorce is finalized, most states require the parties to file a disclosure statement, which sets out their ...

How to File a Trial Brief for Divorce

Filing a divorce trial brief is different in different states and different counties within each state. This is because ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED