Three Steps to Take When You’re Served with Divorce Papers

Sometimes being served with divorce papers comes as a shock and other times it’s no surprise at all. Some people might feel sad when they get served, while others are overcome with relief. No matter the details of your situation, being served with divorce papers should trigger you to take action. The way you proceed from here will have a huge impact on how well you are able to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take:

  1. Read over all of the documents you have received.

The papers you have just received contain an abundance of important information. Some things you will learn from reading them include:

  • The timeline you need to keep to for your response (In Florida you usually have 20 days from the time you’re served)
  • Whether or not your spouse is working with a lawyer
  • Which court in which your spouse brought the action 
  • Grounds for divorce (“Irreconcilable differences” is recognized as a sufficient reason in Florida.)
  • Your spouse’s requests for how things like alimony, child custody, child support, and property should be handled
  1. Lawyer up.

The time has come to hire an attorney. Your lawyer will be responsible for representing your best interests and safeguarding your future throughout your divorce. He or she will make sure you have gleaned all the necessary info from the divorce papers and will help you avoid missteps moving forward. 

  1. Submit a response in a timely manner.

Make sure you file your response before the deadline. If you don’t, a default judgement can be entered in your favor and the judge may grant your spouse everything he or she is requesting. This typically is not ideal for you.

In your response, you will address your spouse’s request point by point. This might seem overwhelming or intimidating, but your attorney can help you. They can also help you understand how the decision you make regarding your response will impact you moving forward.

Who can help?

If you are looking for an experienced family law attorney, you’ve come to the right place. At Sharp & Dye, we help our clients navigate the most stressful times in their lives and move forward into a brighter future. If you’ve recently been served with divorce papers or you anticipate that you will be soon, we encourage you to contact us today.

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Sharp & Dye Law

Lindsey Sharp and Deborah Dye are attorneys who strive to provide compassionate representation and the highest level of service to our clients. The Sharp & Dye team has extensive experience in all areas of family law.

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