Once it has been decided that a spouse is going to file for a divorce, the action must start with the drafting of a Summons and Complaint. This document provides basic information about the parties and will set forth what the Plaintiff is looking for. Once the Defendant or their attorney is served with the Summons and Complaint, they have an opportunity to respond by filing a Verified Answer and Counterclaim. This document will also contain basic information regarding the parties and it is then the Defendant’s chance to state what they are looking for. The last document to be filed is the Verified Reply which the Plaintiff has the last chance to restate what they are looking for.
These three documents must be filed in a divorce action so the pleading stage of the divorce action is complete. These documents contain boilerplate language that must be included in order for them to be proper but there is nothing to fear as your attorney will explain each and every clause to you before submitting these documents to the court.