What To Do After Being Served With Divorce Papers
Regardless of whether you have seen divorce coming for some time, or it is a complete shock to you, being served with divorce papers is always cause for uncertainty. You are likely feeling stressed, perhaps angry, and you may not know what to do next. The steps you take now are critical. Below, our Brandon family lawyer outlines the most important steps, so you can protect your future.
It is natural for many people to become extremely upset and you may even start to panic. It is important you do not do this. Remain respectful to the person that served you with the papers, whether it was the county sheriff or a process server. Remember they are just doing their job. Acting out towards them because you are angry at your spouse is not going to help and in fact, it will only hurt your case.
Review the Paperwork Carefully
Prior to speaking with a divorce lawyer, it is important to review the paperwork thoroughly. This will allow you to see the complaints your spouse has filed against you, and make sure you remain compliant with any orders contained within the documents. For example, the package of documents may include a temporary child custody order and a violation will have serious consequences.
You will likely have many thoughts as you review the paperwork. Take notes, on a separate piece of paper, to record those thoughts. You may disagree with some of the statements your spouse made in the petition, or you may notice inconsistencies within the financial affidavit. Take and keep these notes, as they can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your divorce case.
Take Notes of Important Dates
The package of divorce papers you receive will contain many important dates and deadlines. For example, you probably only have 20 days to file an answer with the court. If you do not do this, your spouse can go to court and ask for a default judgment, which could remove your right to defend yourself against accusations being made. Read through all of the documents to determine if it includes important court dates or other deadlines you need to know. If you do not find any, call the court clerk’s office and ask if there are any other important dates you need to be aware of.
Call a Family Lawyer in Brandon
There is no legal requirement that you work with a Brandon family lawyer while going through a divorce. However, it is always strongly recommended that you do. At Koether Law, P.A., our seasoned attorney understands how upsetting it is to be served with divorce papers. She also knows how to ensure your rights are protected and will negotiate with the other side so you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. If your spouse has served you with divorce papers, call us today at 813-347-8193 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to get the legal help you need.