Hello. Can I ask a few questions ?
1. Ages of child(ren)?
2. Does he have primary custody or do you? It sounds as if he does, but I just want to be certain. If he has physical custody, do you have any percentage of legal custody (to participate in school, medical decisions, etc?)
3. How many years have you been divorced?
4. Can I ask you exactly what relief he is seeking and why?
Hello. First, she should telephone the family court -- clerk's office for civil / family court business and ask someone there if the court expects that your wife should file a written response to this nisi request or if the court simply expects her to appear and oppose the requests that he is making to the court (courts do this differently -- even two courts in the same county -- one may want a written response, the other just an appearance at the hearing -- it all depends upon what the chief judge at that particular court wants filed in each case). If you need to prepare a written response as well as appear at the hearing, your written response to this should be simple and to the point -- because the order nisi is really an order for her to appear and show just cause (which means testimony). It should be formatted at the top (court name, plaintiff v defendant, case number) just as prior paperwork in this case has been set up. Then after it is set up, you should center text a title "Answer to Plaintiff's Nisi Request to Show Just Cause"
and then a short paragraph under that stating something like "Now comes the Defendant and states that she will appear at the hearing to show just cause and counters Plaintiff's allegations herein and will further counter Plaintiff's allegations at the hearing, as follows:" , then start a new paragraph in numbered paragraph format, you need to counter each charge/allegation or request made by the Plaintiff (for example: 1. Plaintiff requests that Defendant pay Plaintiff's legal fees. Defendant objects to this request and states that Plaintiff's legal fees would not be so high or would be non-existent if Plaintiff did not bring so many frivolous action before the court in an attempt to interfere with Defendant's relationship with her children, 2......(then set out the next request and your wife's objection to it), 3. etc etc. Obviously, you and she need to sit down and write these responses out to each of the items he is requesting (if it is custody, and she wants custody returned to her, she should give a brief statement to that effect and state why -- but be brief). If you miss something in the written answer you can still bring it up at the hearing on these matters, but it is good to touch upon them if you can. Then she signs it at the bottom and puts a paragraph underneath that stating that "I have served the Plaintiff with a copy of this Response this ___ day of October, 2010 via US Mail (or in hand if she delivers it personally). She then takes/sends an original to the court (clerk's office) prior to the court date -- some courts will tell you that you should simply bring it with you on the court date and give it to the judge that day - and the judge may simply want to hear the testimony (if you do that, then do not give the ex a copy until just before she walks into the hearing, either). If the clerk's office office takes the response and files it, then she should mail a copy to the ex and keep a copy so she can use it as her "cue card" in court. I wish that I could write this up for you, but it is against our site rules for me to do that -- however, I think I gave you enough of a blueprint to help her write this up herself if she does need to file a written response.
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