Pennsylvania  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 1/16/09, 1:57 am

Responding to a divorce complaint/summons

We both live in PA. I was served with divorce papers December 5th. I am a stay at home mother and have no money to retain a lawyer (no, legal aid in PA does not help with divorce nor custody cases). I have consulted with a few who have told me that I have 90 days to respond if I want an no-fault, and up to 2 years to respond to the original complaint before the divorce hearing. I'm hearing from other people that you're supposed to respond within 20 days (which is no longer possible as that time has passed). I'm scared that my lack of money has cost me everything now! I can't lose custody of my daughter! The complaint asks for HIM to have physical custody. I still have no money to retain an attorney and all I can do are consultations! Can anyone clarify this? If I didn't respond in 20 days, have I completely screwed up?

I have read through the complaint many times, and through the letter sent with it, and there is nothing at all said except that I needed to ''promptly respond'' but no dates/times/requirements stated.

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