If you have been served with divorce papers, then you need to handle things seriously and make the right, smart decisions that will be in your best interest. Even if you’re expecting a divorce, remember that the way that you respond can completely impact the outcome of your case. We know, dealing with divorce papers can be quite an overwhelming task to tackle at first. This is why we have compiled a list of steps you can take to get started on the right path. 

Read The Entire Petition

Once you have been presented with the divorce papers from your spouse, do not, we repeat, do not ignore them. You have to be very detail-oriented and know when the deadline is to respond to the petition. These divorce papers will also let you know where it was filed, that way if you are separated from your spouse you will know if it was filed out of state. It should also contain important information as to what grounds for divorce and if the spouse filing did so on their own, or if they had an attorney representing them. Understanding the information in the divorce papers you have been served is essential for building a strong strategy for your divorce case.

Provide a Response

After you are able to determine when the deadline is, you will have to provide a response for each statement in the divorce papers. If you wish, you can also allege grounds of your own for the divorce and propose your own ideas for asset and debt allocation. You could even state your own preferences for alimony, child support, and child custody. Whether you have an attorney draft you a response or you do it on your own does not matter, it needs to be done and submitted by the deadline. If not, the court could end up granting all of your ex-spouse’s requests for the division of property, child custody, child support, and even alimony. 

Consult With An Experienced Family Law Attorney

You should consult an experienced divorce lawyer within a few days after receiving the papers. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to evaluate your case, discuss your options, and even plan out the best course of action to ensure any and all of your legal interests are protected. You can also expect the lawyer to help you simplify the divorce process by tracking and managing important deadlines, mediate stressful conversations between both parties, and advise you on how to properly communicate with your spouse in regards to child custody, parenting plan decisions, and even visitation rights.