Were you recently served with divorce papers from your spouse, and now you are not sure what to do? It will help to know the following steps so that you are handling it the right way.
Understand What It Means Not File First
You may be a bit worried that you were not the one to file the divorce papers first. However, understand that this is not a big deal. The person that filed first will only really matter if your divorce goes to trial, and the person that filed acts as the plaintiff in the court case. This means that they will present their case first, and then you will follow second. Since the end result of both parties is the same, being the defendant and presenting second in a divorce case is not a big deal.
Know How Much Time You Have To Respond
While your first instinct may be to freak out and respond quickly to the divorce papers you received, know that you do have some time. Look into your local state laws to determine how many days you have to file an answer response with the court.
Take The Time To Read The Paperwork
The initial petition for a divorce is not that detailed, but it can give you a good idea of what specific reason your spouse is claiming to file for divorce. However, there may be standing orders that go into effect immediately. This will require you to do certain things while your divorce case is pending. For example, a standing order may be to continue paying utility bills for your home so they are not shut off. There may also be restrictions on where you can travel with kids during the divorce process.
Find A Local Divorce Attorney
You should start the search for a divorce attorney as soon as possible. This is because it can take some time to find and hire a lawyer, and you have a limited amount of days until you have to respond to the divorce petition. You should also be aware that you will not be able to work with any attorney that your spouse engages before you. This is because there is a conflict of interest with that lawyer knowing their side of the divorce. If your spouse has already talked to several local lawyers, you may find that you have to do more searching to find one you want to work with that has no conflict of interest.
Reach out to a divorce lawyer like John D Wieser Esq, PC to learn more.