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What Should You Do After Receiving Divorce Papers?

If you’ve recently been served with divorce papers, you might be wondering what comes next. Below are the steps you should take immediately after receiving divorce papers:

  • Read the documents carefully: You should read the divorce papers very thoroughly, as they will contain a lot of crucial information, including the court in which the action was filed, the deadline by which you must respond and whether or not your spouse has retained an attorney.
  • Issue a response: The number of days you have to respond to a divorce summons can vary, but typically it will be approximately 20 days. You will provide an official response called a notice of appearance through your attorney, but if you cannot afford to retain legal counsel, you must respond on your own. If you are served with a complaint in addition to the summons, you must serve an answer. Both the notice of appearance and answer must be filed with the County Clerk.
  • Retain an attorney: If you have not already done so before issuing your response, consult an attorney who can represent you. This lawyer should be experienced in handling divorces both in and out of court.
  • Gather important documents: Divorce includes a discovery process, in which you must submit information about your finances and assets. It is sensible, then, to begin gathering all these documents right away so you can get through the process as efficiently as possible. Your attorney will be able to guide you through this process so you know exactly what information you need to collect.
  • Strategize: Discuss the strategy you will use with your attorney, including how you will protect your assets and your communications during the course of the case.

To learn more about your options and best steps forward when seeking a divorce, meet with a skilled family law attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.