What To Do After Being Served Divorce Papers.
What should you do when you are served with divorce papers?
I understand that getting served with divorce papers is a very stressful experience. And it’s important to stay calm and be sure to read the documents calmly and thoroughly. Please know that you do not have to do anything immediately upon being served the documents.
Here are some steps that I think you should take after you have been served with divorce papers:
The first one is to accept the service, after accepting the service, you should read them carefully in their entirety. You will have approximately 20 days to respond to the complaint., so, make sure to put that on your calendar so that you don’t miss that date and maybe give yourself a week prior to the due date to be able to respond. If you fail to respond, you may have defaulted and your spouse will then get everything that they have asked for in their complaint.
Do not try to avoid service, whether you were personally served or not, the divorce will proceed, and it will not be to your advantage for it to proceed without your involvement.
The second step that I suggest is for you to hire an attorney. If money’s tight, and you need to do it yourself, you can go to the self-help center in the family court or you can go and reach out to legal aid services. Sometimes they can help with lowering the fees for an attorney that can help you. I, however, do not recommend that you conduct your divorce without an attorney if there are children involved and you and your spouse do not agree to custody. Custody battles are very complicated and I feel like it would be in your best interest to have an experienced attorney help you with that.
The next step is filing your answer to the complaint. Usually, you have 20 days to answer that. After you file the answer, between 30 to 90 days, you will have been assigned a court date where you will go in front of the judge and the judge will ask you whether or not you and your spouse have come to an agreement with all the issues in your case.
If you have not reached an agreement, the judge will then send you to mediation. This is a place where you can go and have a third neutral party who will be there to help you and your spouse discuss your issues and hopefully come to an agreement.
Issues that you will discuss will be, of course, child support, child custody, alimony, the marital home, the bank accounts, things of that nature.
If you reach an agreement at your mediation, then your case is over. If you do not reach an agreement, then you will have to start preparing for trial.
Those are the basic steps that I would recommend you do if you are faced with being served with divorce papers. Again, I’m a big strong proponent of having an attorney if there are children involved to have someone with experience help you along with the custody issues. If you have further questions about this topic or any other questions in family law, please don’t hesitate, go to vegasdivorcemeeting.com and I will be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss your particular situation.
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