Served With Divorce Papers? Here Is How To Respond
If you were recently served with divorce papers by your spouse, you might be experiencing a myriad of emotions. While you may want nothing more than to grieve during this difficult time, it is important that you respond in a timely manner. Here are some tips for how to respond to divorce papers being served.
Check the Date of the Response
You have a limited amount of time to respond to divorce papers, after which you no longer have the option. It is important that you check the date of the papers as they will let you know when you must respond to the court by. Every stat has different guidelines with how long you're given to respond, but it is typically about a month.
Know Your Options
In most states, you are given three options for responding: doing nothing and letting your spouse handle the divorce proceedings, doing nothing since you have an agreement with your spouse about how to handle things, or responding to the petition for divorce with your own stipulations.
If you choose to do nothing and do not have a written agreement, anything your spouse has claimed on their papers is what the judge bases their decisions on. If you have a written agreement and don't want to respond, make sure it is notarized. The third option is to respond if you do not agree with anything your spouse has put on their papers.
Get Your Finances and Assets in Order
It is important that when you are going through a divorce, you have all your records in order. This means going through your finances and getting proper documentation of your assets, both those owned alone and together, gather employment and salary information, and get copies of your last few years' worth of tax returns. If there is a dispute about what you earn and whether or not you should pay alimony, this documentation will come in handy.
Consider Your Children
Before you respond to a petition for divorce, keep your children in mind. This is something a lot of people forget to do because it is such a stressful and emotional time. However, consider what the best interests of your children are before you try to get sole custody or make any of their decisions.
Get Legal Representation
It is highly recommended that you get legal representation from a divorce attorney before you respond to the petition. If you do not want an attorney to represent you, you can still get help filling out the paperwork from a divorce attorney, or speak to them for legal advice concerning child custody or other issues you have. (For more information, contact Taliana Buckley & Asa)