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outlet moncler milano indirizzo Do I Have to File an Answer to a Complaint in a Divorce in Pennsylvania? by Elizabeth Stock An answer is your response to the initial divorce filing.

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Related Articles How to File a Written Answer to a Divorce Petition What Is a Counterclaim for Divorce? How to Draft a Counter Claim in a Divorce

In Pennsylvania, either spouse can file for divorce by completing a divorce complaint. The divorce complaint will state the names of both spouses and the reason for the divorce. If a spouse files a complaint for divorce, the other spouse has the option of filing a cross-complaint or answering the divorce complaint. However, whether he chooses to file an answer to the divorce complaint will depend on several factors, including whether he wishes to contest the divorce and issues raised in the divorce complaint.

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

In Pennsylvania, the divorce complaint must be filed with a civil cover sheet. At the time of filing, the court collects a filing fee that varies depending on the county where you file the complaint. The spouse filing the divorce complaint, referred to as the plaintiff, has 30 days to serve the other spouse, the defendant, with a copy of the complaint. Service in Pennsylvania can be accomplished by personal service or through certified mail. Failure to accomplish service in Pennsylvania may result in the dismissal of the divorce complaint.

Divorce Eligibility and the Waiting Period

To file for divorce in Pennsylvania, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Pennsylvania for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. If the spouses live in separate counties, the filing spouse should file in defendant's county of residence. If the defendant lives in another state, the plaintiff should file in her own county. An uncontested divorce requires the parties to wait 90 days before the court will grant the divorce. An uncontested divorce means that no issues exist on which the parties disagree. However, if only one spouse wants the divorce and the spouses have been living apart for at least two years, a divorce may be granted if the court determines the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Answer to Divorce Complaint

In Pennsylvania, the answer to a divorce complaint is referred to as a counterclaim. There are several reasons to file a counterclaim in a divorce proceeding. A counterclaim may raise additional issues under the Pennsylvania Divorce Code that were not included in the original complaint, like child custody or the division of particular assets. In addition, the counterclaim may respond to issues mentioned in the original divorce complaint.

Effect of Not Answering the Divorce Complaint

According to Pennsylvania law, it is not mandatory to answer a divorce complaint. However, if a spouse does not answer the divorce complaint, he cannot address any issues raised in, or excluded from, the divorce petition. The divorce may proceed anyway, but by not responding, the defendant waives representation and protection of his rights. It is often necessary for the defendant to file an answer to a divorce complaint if the spouses have not reached an agreement on the division of significant assets or child custody arrangements.

Divorce Information Overview Check Pricing 3-Step Process Why LegalZoom? References & Resources Lancaster County: How to File for Divorce Divorce Line: Pennsylvania Divorce Procedures The Pennsylvania Code: Rule 1920.15, Counterclaim, Subsequent Petition Pennsylvania Bar Association: Divorce and Separation ` About the Author

Elizabeth Stock began writing professionally in 2010. Before pursuing a career as a freelance writer, Stock was an editor and note writer for the "Thomas Jefferson Law Review" while attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Stock recently graduated magna cum laude from Thomas Jefferson earning a Juris Doctor.

Photo Credits Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images Next Article: How to File a Written Answer to a Divorce Petition

This article was created by and is owned by Leaf Group Ltd., its subsidiaries, affiliates, or contractors ("Leaf Group Ltd.") and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of LegalZoom. Nothing stated or implied in this article should be construed to be legal, tax, or professional advice. Leaf Group Ltd. is not a law firm and this article should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client or legal advisor relationship. For questions regarding your specific situation, please consult a qualified attorney. LegalZoom is not a law firm and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.



Extortion Download article as a PDF

Extortion is the crime of obtaining money or property by threat to a victim's property or loved ones, intimidation, or false claim of a right.

What Is Extortion?

Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action. While usually viewed as a form of theft/larceny , extortion differs from robbery in that the threat in question does not pose an imminent physical danger to the victim.

Extortion is a felony in all states. Blackmail is a form of extortion in which the threat is to expose embarrassing and damaging information to family, friends, or the public. Inherent in this common form of extortion is the threat to expose the details of someone's private lives to the public unless money is exchanged.

Another common extortion crime is offering "protection" to a businessman to keep his business safe from burglary or vandalism. For example, Dan goes to Victor's place of business and demands monthly payment from Victor for the business's "protection" from vandalism and after-hours theft. Fearing that he or his business will suffer harm otherwise, Victor agrees to pay Dan.

Extortion can take place over the telephone, via mail, text, email or other computer or wireless communication. If any method of interstate commerce is used in the extortion, it can be a federal crime.

Extortion Statutes

Virtually all extortion statutes require that a threat must be made to the person or property of the victim. Threats to harm the victim's friends or relatives may also be included. It is not necessary for a threat to involve physical injury. It may be sufficient to threaten to accuse another person of a crime or to expose a secret that would result in public embarrassment or ridicule. The threat does not have to relate to an unlawful act.

Other types of threats sufficient to constitute extortion include those to harm the victim's business and those to either testify against the victim or withhold testimony necessary to his or her defense or claim in an administrative proceeding or a lawsuit. Many statutes also provide that any threat to harm another person in his or her career or reputation is extortion.

Cyber Extortion: A Growing Threat

While you believe that extortion only happens in smoky back rooms or among shady Mafia characters, it can happen right here at your fingertips. Cyber extortion, a new way for criminals to take hold of your property, is on the rise in a modern society. Cyber criminals use a tool known as " ransomware ," to encrypt a user’s important files and documents, making them unreadable, until a ransom is paid. No specific business or individual appears to be the target, but cyber criminals tend to focus their efforts on against larger-scale targets such as corporations with large amounts of data and deeper pockets. 

Get a Free Case Evaluation with a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you're having heated discussions with a business associate, a client, a friend or a family member and your words might be taken as a threat to gain money or other advantage, then the police could arrest you and charge you with extortion. If you're facing criminal investigation, your best move is to immediately get a free case review from a criminal defense attorney to better understand your situation and your options.







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