Legal Procedures For Pro Se When Ex Filed Counter Petition

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I am going through divorce pro se and filed the petition. She answered with her Counter-Petition to which there are issues that I disagree with.

Do I then file my own Answer requesting parts of her Counter-Petition be dismissed? What is the procedure?


It is definitely a challenge to represent yourself without legal counsel. Most states have many unique and complicated laws regarding court procedures. If you fail to follow those laws perfectly, you could ultimately find yourself on the losing side of your case.

Your question deals with the initial stages of pleadings. These are the first documents to the court that are read by the judge.

When the opposing party files a Counter-Petition, you should file a Reply, which is like your Answer to that Counter-Petition.

If you do not file a Reply, then the judge may admit all statements contained in the Counter-Petition as true.

In addition to procedural issues, states’ complex divorce and family laws are difficult to understand and apply. You may suffer the misfortune of higher child support or an unequal distribution of property if you continue to handle this matter on your own.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights, I urge you to contact an a family law attorney immediately.

Cordell & Cordell has well qualified and experienced men’s divorce lawyers nationwide if you require additional legal assistance.


Michelle Hughes is an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hughes is licensed in the states of Missouri and Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. A native to metro St. Louis, Ms. Hughes received her BBA in Economics and Finances from McKendree College. She later received her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School where she graduated cum laude.

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