What Do I Do If I Have Been Served Divorce Papers?

divorce papers close up

If you have been served with divorce papers, you have a few options. Which works best for you is dependent on a whole range of factors, but we have one thing that we recommend to every person going through a divorce. Consult a Morton divorce lawyer from our firm.

How Should I Respond to Being Served?

When you are served with divorce papers, your first option is to just not respond to them. There is nothing illegal about this, but it is generally not a good idea. When you choose not to respond, that does not stop the divorce. Instead, it goes forward without you and the judge can enter something called a “default judgment” based solely on your spouse’s testimony.

This judgment is likely to be far more favorable to your spouse. The court is only getting one side of the story since you did not even bother to show up. This might be fine if there are no children or significant assets involved, but it is usually worthwhile to hire a lawyer and make sure that your version of events is on the record.

What Can a Divorce Lawyer Do For Me?

Your divorce lawyer can help you file the paperwork you need to file in order to participate in this process. The appearance and answer forms are required here. You can also file a counter-petition that informs the court that you are ready to divorce your spouse.

So your lawyer is ready to help you with the annoying paperwork, but that is not all they can do for you. They can also:

  • Keep you in the loop about important deadlines
  • Send necessary documents to your spouse and their attorney
  • Communicate on your behalf
  • Advocate for you during the property division process
  • Help you negotiate child custody and support agreements

Your attorney is there to protect your interests. That is why calling one should be one of your first moves after getting served.

Can I Just Avoid Being Served With Divorce Papers?

Sometimes people think that they can just run out the clock and avoid getting served in the first place. If you stay away from locations that you spend a lot of time at, like your office or home, then maybe you can just ignore the process server and never have to worry about getting those divorce papers, right?

That is not really how things work though. As we mentioned, the divorce proceedings can go on without you. A default judgment can be rendered as you do nothing to protect yourself or your rights. So maybe you should not try to run, drive, or parkour away from the server carrying your divorce papers.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Divorce Attorneys

The lawyers at our firm have experience handling all kinds of divorce cases. We are ready to help you navigate this process and protect yourself while you fight for the best possible outcome. So contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. today and schedule an initial consultation with our team.

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