What To Do After Being Served With Divorce Papers In Florida
Being served with divorce papers is always traumatic, whether you are alone at the time or surrounded by people. A process server or sheriff will visit your work or home, ask you to identify yourself, and then serve you with the divorce paperwork. Regardless of whether you were expecting the divorce or it comes as a complete shock, there are important things to do after being served with divorce papers. Our Tampa contested divorce attorney explains what these are below.
Responding to the Summons
One of the most important documents included in the divorce paperwork is the summons. The summons is essentially notice that a lawsuit has been filed against you. The summons will also have the actual petition that your spouse filed with the court attached. The petition will outline the case your spouse has against you, and the action they would like the court to take.
The language included in the summons is very harsh. One of the instructions on it is that you must file a written response within 20 calendar days of the date of the summons. Responding to the summons is very important. If you do not, your spouse can ask the court for a default judgment, prohibiting you from defending your case. The summons does not inform you of what to include in your response, as that will depend on what is included in the original petition. A Tampa contested divorce attorney can ensure the proper rules are followed and that your response is filed on time.
What Happens After You are Served with Divorce Papers?
There are important steps to take after you have been served with divorce papers as well. Once the service is complete, you are under the authority of the judge’s standing order. There are two different standing orders used in Tampa. One is used in cases that do not involve children while the other is used when children are involved.
If you and your spouse have children together, you must make arrangements for the child as soon as possible. If you cannot reach an agreement, you must attend mediation or a hearing within 60 days of service. Parents are encouraged to pay child support during this time and while the divorce is ongoing, but this is not a requirement. Eventually, the court may issue a temporary order, making child support mandatory.
Lastly, if you have children with your spouse, you absolutely cannot relocate with them until you have obtained the approval of the court. Moving during the divorce process is prohibited by the standing order.
Been Served with Divorce Papers? Our Contested Divorce Attorneys in Tampa Can Help
If your spouse has served you with divorce papers, our Tampa contested divorce attorneys can help. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our seasoned attorneys will help you respond to the summons and we will guide you throughout the process to obtain the best possible settlement, if possible, and if not possible, we have the best litigation team to present your case to the Court. Note also that just because you are served with the divorce papers by process server does not mean it will be a contested divorce case. There is plenty of opportunity after the case is filed to resolve it without the intervention of the judge. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more. Se habla Español.