If you are named as a respondent in a family case and you have received (been "served" with) an Application, you will also receive a blank Answer that will allow you to respond to the claims that have been made in the Application. You may also make claims against the applicant or another person (an added respondent) in your answer.
The information that you write on the answer lets the applicant and the judge know what you and the applicant do and do not agree on in the application. You may also add any other issues, not set out in the application, that you would like the judge to decide.
In addition to an answer, you may also need to complete other forms depending on the claims that have been made, such as a financial statement.
Within 30 days of being served with the application, or by the first court date, whichever is earlier, you must:
Serve your answer and any other forms and documents on every party named in the case, including any parties that you may have added in your answer; and
File all documents with the court.
If there is a first court date, it will be set out on the first page of the application.
If you do not serve and file an answer within 30 days of being served with the application, or the first court date, the case can go ahead without you. This means that the court could make an order that affects you and your children, if any, without hearing from you. It’s very important for you to file an answer before the deadlines if you disagree with the information or the claims in the application or if you want to make your own claims.
You should consider speaking to a family lawyer if you have been served with an Application.