Though your marriage may not be in the best place, being served divorce papers can still be a shock to many. Holding these documents in your hand signifies the official end of your union, which is an overwhelming and emotional time. However, knowing how to proceed after you’ve received these papers is essential. Luckily, New Jersey divorce attorneys can help you navigate this process. Keep reading to learn more about how divorce works once you’ve been served.
What’s Included When You Receive Divorce Papers?
When you receive divorce papers, this is the official start of the divorce process. Included in the documents you receive will be a summons, which is the formal notice that you are to appear in court. There will also be a petition, which includes the details of the divorce. Your spouse must detail on what grounds they are filing for divorce, as well as any requests about alimony, property, or child support.
After you receive the papers, it’s vital to take time to collect yourself and your thoughts. Even if you believed your divorce was inevitable, this is still an emotional and confusing time. Once you have taken the time to process, it’s essential to read and note the important information included in the papers. This includes when you must appear in court and the deadline to respond to the petition.
What Are the Next Steps You Should Take?
Once you’ve gathered the essential information, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. It’s crucial to have legal representation, even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms. Though things may seem friendly, divorce often brings out the worst in people, and a lawyer can help provide advice. Your attorney can help you navigate this process.
Generally, the first thing your attorney will do is help you respond to the petition. This is a crucial step, as failure to reply can result in a default judgment against you. An attorney can guide you through the documents, to make responding as easy as possible. This includes providing any counterclaims you have that go against what your spouse has provided.
Afterward, you’ll proceed with the divorce process as usual. This includes providing your attorney with the necessary financial information, working with them to negotiate the terms of your property distribution, and working out a child custody arrangement, if possible.
It’s essentialto have legal representation from the moment you receive the papers until your divorce is finalized. At Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you through this complex legal matter. Our firm has the necessary experience to fight for your best interest during your divorce. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.