What You Should Do Immediately After Receiving Divorce Papers

Posted on: 29 December 2020

Were you recently handed divorce papers by your spouse, and you are a bit confused about what you should do? Even if you knew the divorce was coming, the reality of being given the official paperwork can catch you off guard. Here are some tips for what you should do immediately after receiving your divorce papers. 

Verify That You Were Served Papers Legally

Know that being served legal paperwork is something that has to be done in a particular way. Your spouse can't give you the paperwork directly, since it needs to be certified by a neutral third party. A common way to do this is by giving you a certified letter that you have to sign to receive, but it can also be done by a process server. If you were not given the divorce papers in a legal way, make sure you tell your spouse so that they cannot move forward with the divorce process. Even if you want to get a divorce, there is still a legal way that it must be done.

Read All Documents Received

If you have been served the paperwork in the proper way, you should take the time to read the paperwork. Make sure that you understand everything that has been given to you to the best of your ability, knowing that there may be some confusion with the legal nature of the documents. Now is a great time to meet with a divorce lawyer to better understand the documents you've been given. 

Verify The Correct Court

You'll want to verify that the court used to file for divorce is the correct one that has jurisdiction and can make decisions about your divorce. This is very important if your spouse lives in another state and decided to file for divorce where you live. Not only would this be inconvenient for you, but it may not be legal. Check your local laws to verify which court the divorce must be filed with and if that court was the correct one used for the initial divorce filing.

Know How Long You Have To Respond

Your divorce papers will require an official response from you within a certain time period, with every state having its own laws regarding how long you have. Make sure that you know the date and that you respond in time since not responding will allow your spouse to file for a default divorce. This allows your spouse to have a judge decide on your divorce without your say in the matter, making crucial decisions about how the divorce will happen.

For more information, contact a divorce attorney.