Divorce is a stressful time, and it's only made worse if you don't prepare properly. After receiving divorce papers, it may take some time to digest what’s happening. The moments after being served, you may have many questions you need to be answered, wondering what the next step is and how this will change your life. There are several steps you should take after being served with divorce papers, both to protect yourself and make the process as smooth as possible.
Get an Attorney
While hiring a lawyer may make the process feel all too real, it is absolutely necessary that you have experienced legal representation on your side. If finances are an issue, you can take care of as much of the divorce as possible yourself, and hire an attorney to take care of specific items. Whatever your decision, do not put it off as it is important that you are prepared for the next steps.
Pay Attention to Deadlines
Be sure to read your divorce papers carefully, as you have a set date by which you must respond. In some instances, divorce papers may include a date which states how many days you have to respond with your own court papers. In general, if you’re personally served divorce papers, you’ll have 21 days to respond and if served by certified mail, you’ll have 28 days. Go over your papers with your attorney to make sure you fully understand them and know when you must respond.
Review Your Finances
Consider doing away with joint accounts, and make sure that all of your personal accounts are in good order. This is not the time for spite, for example, if you have the ability to freeze your spouse out of any financial support. Doing this can just make the rest of the divorce proceedings a lot more painful. Be careful of your spending, as you should have money aside for lawyers and to deal with the uncertainty of the future.
Consider Your Children
If you are going through a divorce it is crucial to protect your custodial rights. In the event your divorce or separation doesn’t go as planned, you may not receive the custody, visitation or child support you deserve–this is where an attorney can help. An experienced family law and divorce lawyer will be able to help guide you and can offer help every step of the way.
At Aldrich Legal Services, our family law practice is headed by Brad Aldrich, a knowledgeable divorce lawyer with more than 20 years of legal experience. Our focus is on resolving your dispute as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, while fully safeguarding your rights. If your divorce is not resolved before trial, we have the courtroom skills and experience to help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us today at (734) 404-3000.