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Family Law Case: Citation & Response

Updated: 7 days ago

So what is a citation and response or an original answer in a Texas family law case?


The citation itself is a handful of papers, that comes signed and sealed by the county clerk. It's an official document from the state of Texas that says the following:

  • You've been sued in a lawsuit

  • You have the right to an attorney

  • You must answer this within 20 days from the date it is served to you

This piece of paper can be scary, and usually attached to it, or in addition to, it will have a standing order or restraining order or protective order delivered along side it with the petition. What is critical about this, is the clock starts ticking from the moment you receive that paper.

You need to act face, because remember, there is a 60 day "cooling off period" but those 20 days will quickly eat away at the 60, and you don't want to find yourself in a rush, or in a time crunch.

Use your 20 days to find counsel and someone who can help you with your situation, that is knowledgable in the area and can support you the way you need it.


So what is an answer, and how do you do it? Theres a few different kinds of answers that you can do in a general sense:

  • General denial, which means that you don't agree with anything going on in that original petition, and want strict proof

  • Waiver of service, where you sign a document that says I've been given notice of this petition for divorce, but I'm going to exercise my own right to act as my own counsel and I may be waiving my right to a jury trial. (People are rarely comfortable with taking this action)

  • Counter petition, where you're seeking identical rights and remedies that the petitioner filed

The thing to remember here, is that you have rights.

Find yourself good counsel, and educate yourself on what it ahead.





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