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TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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A friend has been served divorce papers. Her and her ex-husband

Resolved Question:

A friend has been served divorce papers. Her and her ex-husband did not have any real assets and no children. Does she need a lawyer? She has asked me for advice and I do not understand the plantiff's prays and demands in the papers. Both her and her husband are boke. She left him everything except for her car and 5 boxes of stuff. They lived with her husband's parents the entire 3 year marriage. Please advice.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for submitting your important legal issue to Just Answer. I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide you with an honest and easy to understand answer to your question.

I am an attorney licensed in the State of Texas. The following information is a brief answer to your question. However, if you feel that you need further information or that you have other insights which might help me in providing a better answer, please feel free to write back.

When there are no assets, a divorce can be very simple. However, your friend needs to file a General Denial. You need to make the document look like the petition (same heading). The title is "General Denial". Then you state:

Defendant _________, appears before this court and files this Answer and General Denial herein and will respectfully XXXXX XXXXX the Court the Following:

Defendant ___________, denies each and every, all and singular claims and allegations made in Plaintiff's Petition for Divorce. Defendant requests a trial of this matter before a jury of her peers and that Plaintiff be caused to prove with credible evidence all allegations made in his petition.

Filing this document will allow your friend to reach an agreement regarding the separation of property. Then you file a settlement agreement, and request that the judge issue a divorce decree based on the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement needs to state all the assets and how they will be divided, along with reference to the division of debts owed by the couple, and the retitling of any vehicles. She needs to make sure the divorce decree states that the court orders ex husband to sign over title to the vehicle.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Zachary D. Norris or The Norris Law Firm. For complete legal advice and representation, you should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Does she need a lawyer to file the denial for her? The car is already tittled to her. Her husband signed it over when they seperated. He has his own vehicle. She is in agreement with the complaints in the divorce papers. The complaints are not in dispute. Her confussion (and mine) is the list of prays and demands and her ex-husbands debt. The prays and demands are asking for a settlement agreement. She has no problem with a settlement agreement unless it means she is forced to incur part of his debt. As far as she knows his debt consists of a truck payment for a truck he is in possession of, a student loan aquired before his marriage, and a credit card in his name maxed out at under $1500. The credit card was aquired during the marriage, it was his credit card and was used by him and never by her. All material assets remain with the ex-husband with her approval. One of the demands is that all costs of this action be cast upon the defendant. If she files a general denial on her own what happens next? We she just go to court for the settlement agreement and need legal councel at that time? If so would it be less costly for her to just hire a lawyer and have the lawyers come up with a settlement agreement without going to court?
Expert:  TexLaw replied 8 years ago.
Hi Again,
Sorry for the delayed response. In cases where its possible to reach a settlement agreement, it is not always necessary to hire a lawyer. Really, all that needs to be done is a complete agreement regarding the division of the assets and debts needs to be entered before the court.

I cannot give you specific answers regarding what this woman's rights are without knowing the state in which you live.

It sounds to me that your friend would benefit from hiring an attorney. It would give her peace of mind and would likely help her move the divorce along more quickly. But I would first advise speaking to the husband and seeing if he would be willing to enter into an agreement where he keeps the debt and the car payment to pay himself, since he has kept the rest of the property. If he doesn't agree, then go get an attorney.

It also sounds to me that the husband has hired an attorney. If they can come to an agreement regarding the property, the husbands attorney should be able to take care of entering the agreement before the court. The agreement must be entered before the court, and there has to be a court appearance in order to have the court grant the divorce.

After you file the general denial, the ball is then in the husbands court to make a move.   It also starts the beginning of the discovery process. I wouldn't advise making any more legal filings without an attorney.
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