1. Review your partner's court forms
Your partner has to serve you with a copy of their court forms. The purpose of service is to let you know that your partner has started a court case against you and to give you a chance to respond.
Rule 6: Service of documents says that the first time your partner gives you copies of their court documents, they have to serve you by special service. This means your partner can’t give them to you directly. They have to get a family member or friend over 18 years old to serve you, or they can hire a professional process server.
Once you get your partner's documents, read them carefully. Make sure you understand the orders your partner is asking for.
You will get a:
- Form 8: Application, which tells you the orders your partner is asking for, and their reasons for those orders.
You may also get:
- Form 35.1: Affidavit in Support of a Claim for Custody or Access, if your partner is asking for custody or access. This form has your partner's story of your family situation before you separated and your partner's suggested parenting plan for after you separate.
- Form 13: Financial Statement or Form 13.1: Financial Statement, which has information on your partner's finances. You get this form only if your partner is asking for:
- child support that is more than what they would get under the child support tables,
- spousal support, or
- to divide property.
- Form 13A: Certificate of Financial Disclosure, where your partner lists all the documents that prove what they said in their financial statement.