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When do I have to file an answer to a divorce petition?

An answer is a defendant’s or respondent’s written response to a petition or complaint. An answer either admits or denies each of plaintiff’s or petitioner’s allegations. You should carefully read the papers you have received for information on answering the petition. There is a limited time for filing an answer.

If you do not respond to the petition by electronically filing an answer on time, the court may enter an order finding you in default and granting your spouse what was asked for in the petition. If you do not understand what is in the petition or how to file an answer, you should talk to an attorney.

For more information and interactive court forms go to the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: https://www.iowacourts.gov/for-the-public/representing-yourself/divorce/.

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