No one plans on getting divorced. And yet it’s an unfortunate part of life for many people.
Going through a divorce is never easy. It can be painful, complicated, combative, and extremely stressful for everyone involved. That’s why it’s so important to understand the process as much as possible.
If you’ve been served with divorce papers, it can be confusing, emotional, and scary. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for help. This article takes a look at what you need to know about divorce could and how to prepare. Keep reading to discover insight that can help make the process a little easier to cope with.
Understanding the Paperwork
Let’s talk about the different types of documents that are typically involved in divorce proceedings.
The first type of document is a court summons. This is a document that informs the defendant that you are being sued, and therefore asserts the power of the court to hear and determine the case. A summons will explain the defendant’s obligations, including court appearances once you’ve been served.
The second type of document is a complaint. This is a legal document that serves as the pleading in a case that actually initials a civil action. It’s the legal foundation for a specific court to declare jurisdiction and venue over your case. This is also the document that details exactly what your spouse is asking for in the divorce.
In addition, you could also be served with other papers, including various emergency orders such as temporary custody until the initial hearing before the judge can take place.
What to Do When Served
When someone files for divorce, the spouse will be served with the court summons and complaint. It’s important to understand that this is often unexpected and shocking. In fact, many defendants in a divorce are often taken totally off guard when served. Thus it can be an incredibly emotional experience. So what should you do when you’ve been served?
The first step is to accept the papers. After all, you’re not going to be doing yourself or anyone else any favors by making a big scene or avoiding service.
Keep in mind that when papers are simply left at your home without being served to you directly, the law in many states will treat it as if you were served whether you choose to pick them up or not. So you might as well deal with them rather than trying to ignore them and prolong the inevitable.
It’s important to understand that once you’ve been served, the clock starts, and you’ll typically have between 20 to 30 days to respond. And if you fail to answer and counter-petition within that time period, a motion can be filed to request that the judge filed an answer in the case.
As you can see, it’s important to take the papers seriously and to respond in a timely manner, otherwise, the judge is likely to rule against you, thus granting your spouse everything they’ve asked for.
Get a Lawyer
Once you’ve been served, you’d be wise to find a divorce lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced divorced attorney will know how to respond quickly and provide the legal counsel that you’ll need.
Keep in mind that divorces are often extremely contentious and hostile, thus it’s easy for emotions to take over. In other words, you might not be thinking rationally. This is why it’s so important to hire a good attorney.
Don’t waste any time. Remember, the clock is running. You need to give the attorney adequate time to assess the case and to form a legal strategy that will get you the best possible results.
Get recommendations from family and friends. This can be extremely helpful in finding a good attorney. And once you’ve gotten a few good names of skilled divorce lawyers, schedule interviews so that you can find the one you feel most comfortable with.
And once you start interviewing, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Make sure they specialize in divorce law and have years of experience. It’s also important to how they expect to get paid, and how they plan to approach the case. A good lawyer should be happy to answer your questions and treat you in a way that puts you at ease during this stressful process.
Take the Time to Get Organized
Now that you’ve hired a good lawyer, spend some time getting as organized as possible so that you’ll be able to provide information to your legal counsel.
You’ll need to be able to provide specific information regarding finances, real estate holding, your job, your children, retirement accounts, various assets and debts, medical records, and insurance cards.
This is especially important when children are involved. After all, you’re going to have to deal with sticky details such as the school pickup schedule, medical records, doctor visits, daycare invoices, and visitation rights, even before the divorce is finalized.
None of this is easy. In fact, it will likely be incredibly emotional and painful. That’s why it’s so important to get organized so that your lawyer can handle the technical aspects as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here is a resource that will help you find out how a divorce affects your will.
Talk to a Therapist
During a divorce, it’s important to focus on self-care. Thus it can be extremely helpful to find a good therapist.
If you’ve never been to therapy, this might be a good time to start. A good therapist will be skilled at helping you get in touch with your deepest emotions and deal with the immense stress you are experiencing.
Keep in mind that sometimes it’s helpful to have someone to talk to. A therapist is trained to be a good listener, offer constructive feedback, and provide advice for how best to care for yourself in the coming months and years following the end of the relationship with your spouse.
A Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Divorce Papers
The end of a marriage can feel like a death. Fortunately, these tips for dealing with divorce papers can make the process of ending your marriage go a little more smoothly.
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