Served With Divorce Papers? Here’s What to Do Next

Whether divorce was well-anticipated or comes as a complete shock, the process that kickstarts the divorce proceedings usually comes in the form of being served. When this happens, you need to take instant action to safeguard your legal rights and future. Here are 4 things to do after you’ve been served with divorce papers:

1. Read the documents

It is essential for an individual to read the divorce documents closely. The documents should list the court where the action has been brought. This can be useful to understand if the spouses are alienated and the divorce is submitted in a different state. The divorce documents should also list a time limit to provide a reply. Additionally, the documents will show whether the spouse is filing the documentation on their own or has gotten the services of an attorney.

The divorce documents may also allege the reasons for divorce. They can also address moving party applications, including child support amounts, spousal support, property division, child custody, and other child-related problems.

2. Provide a Response

The documents should show the number of days an individual is required to react to the divorce complaint or petition. Usually, this is 30 days beginning from the date the divorce documents were actually served. The spouse should be sure about this data, though. If he or she allows the date to pass without reacting, the other spouse may possibly obtain anything in the divorce documentation that he or she has requested.

An individual will normally provide an answer through their attorney. Otherwise, the spouse’s rights and legal arguments may be forfeited. Typically, each numbered declaration in the complaint must be answered by an individual and not merely a general denial of all claims.

You should consult with an attorney immediately, as you need legal guidance as to what you should do during the 30 day time period before the answer is due. Any schedule of visitation that takes place during the 40 days could affect whether you get custody or joint custody.

3. Get a Lawyer

Even if you agree with the divorce and the requests outlined in the documents, a divorce attorney will be able to review the records and inform the spouse of their legal freedoms and choices. If the case is challenged later, your attorney can advocate for your rights. Almost every day we have people that come to us, stating that they wish they had come to us sooner. 

4. Protect Your Assets

Individuals going through a divorce should address how their assets can be protected. Once a divorce petition is lodged with the tribunal, some jurisdictions instantly call for all assets to be frozen. A spouse should know if he or she should remove half of the amount in the jurisdiction’s joint accounts and ask about it.

Contact an Attorney

If you’ve been served divorce papers, get the help of an attorney as soon as possible. Please call our law firm to discuss how we can help you.

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OMG Law Firm

At the OMG Law Firm, we take pride in our client-focused approach — the people who walk through our doors are more than just clients to us. They are families going through difficult changes, business owners in search of more room to grow, and injured workers looking to plan out the next stages of their lives.

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