Served with Divorce Papers? Here are the Next Steps to Take
Being served with divorce papers is always an emotional experience, even if you have seen it coming for some time. After receiving the divorce papers, it is natural to feel uncertain, stressed, and maybe even angry. It is also natural to be unsure of what to do next, but the steps you take now are very important. Below, our Tampa divorce attorney explains what you should do next, so your future is protected.
Remain Polite and Respectful
Being served with divorce papers is a stressful experience and many people even start to panic. Whether you were served by a process server or the county sheriff, remain polite and respectful towards that person. He or she is just doing their job and nothing to do with the actual case. Even if you are angry with your spouse, you should not act out towards the service person.
Read Through the Paperwork Thoroughly
Even before you contact a divorce lawyer, you should read through the paperwork very thoroughly and start to prepare your response. The paperwork will contain any complaints your spouse has filed against you. Usually your spouse will ask for everything, even if there is no chance of he or she obtaining it. The papers will also contain Standing Orders upon which both parties must comply. It is very important that you understand these orders, so you can comply with them. Violating a court order may come with serious consequences, even if you did not intend for the violation to occur.
Record Your Thoughts
It is important to note your initial reaction to the divorce papers. For example, there may be inconsistencies you notice within the financial affidavit, if it is included with the initial service. Or, you may not agree with some of the statements your spouse made in his or her petition. Recording these notes will ensure that you will remember them when initially speaking with your divorce lawyer. These initial notes may also have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Record Important Dates
Another reason to thoroughly review the divorce papers is they will contain many important deadlines and dates. For example, you have just 20 days after the date of service to file your response with the court. If you fail to do this, your spouse may request the court for a default judgment. If they are successful with their request, you could lose your right to defend yourself. Always write down all of the important dates and deadlines in your case, so you do not miss anything that could have a negative impact on you.
Contact a Top Notch Divorce Attorney in Tampa
You are not legally required to work with a Tampa divorce attorney: however, it is highly recommended that you do to avoid costly mistakes that probably cannot be resolved after the divorce is finalized. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our experienced attorneys can help you through the process, ensure your rights are protected, and give you the best chance of obtaining the fair settlement to which you are entitled. Call us now at 813-672-1900, email us or text us at (813) 543-8960 to request a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn more. Se habla Español.