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What to Do After Being Served with Divorce Papers

 

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.

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

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Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

FAMILY LAW 68: The court held that the satisfaction of the statute relating to the termination of parental rights does not necessarily provide clear and convincing evidence in a parenting time dispute that a child will be harmed by reintroduction to

In a separate case, defendant’s parents filed a petition to terminate plaintiff’s parental rights and adopt RM on the ground that plaintiff had been absent from RM’s life for over three years. One month before the petition was...

FAMILY LAW 66: The court affirmed the trial court’s retroactive child support modification as to the second credit to which plaintiff-mother admitted at the referee hearing, and reversed and remanded as to the trial court’s equitable abatement of th

The parties have two children in common, and both children are now adults. The parties were never married, but plaintiff was granted custody and defendant was ordered to pay child support. After the youngest child turned eighteen, defendant sought a...

FAMILY LAW 65: The court held that because the ECE was not altered by the change of school districts, the referee properly applied the preponderance of the evidence standard when reviewing the best interest and parenting time factors.

BASIC FACTS The parties divorced in 2018. Their judgment of divorce provided that plaintiff would have primary physical custody and that the parties would have joint legal custody of the two minor children. The judgment of divorce stated that the...

FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother

The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

Originally posted on 11/08/2019 There are many different levels of crime and the consequences once someone has been charged with them. One bracket of crimes is known as a misdemeanor. Let’s go over this level of crime and some common...

PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new law regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

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