What to Do When You Are Served with Divorce Papers

Take the Right Steps When You Have Been Served with Divorce Papers

When you have been served with divorce papers, you can be in a total state of shock. You’ll need to respond in a timely manner though, as the clock will start ticking once you receive the complaint. Here are some suggestions regarding how to respond when you suddenly become a party to a divorce.

Take Time to Get Your Bearings

Even if you knew the divorce was coming, it will likely be a highly emotional time. You can expect to feel a sense of loss or failure, or even anger. Your first thought may be to contact your spouse to either try to resolve your dispute or to vent, but don’t do it. Carefully read the complaint and then contact an attorney.

Hire Experienced Counsel to Protect Your Rights

You will want to find an attorney within a fairly short period of time. Typically, you will have 30 days to answer the complaint. It’s usually a good idea to talk to more than one lawyer. Make certain to ask a lot of questions, and be clear on exactly how much it’s going to cost you.

Compile All Financial Information

Financial information is often a focal point of a divorce. It will determine whether alimony is appropriate, as well as how much child support will be paid. It will also be a critical factor in determining how assets and debts are divided. Put together a folder that contains all information about bank accounts, investments, insurance, retirement plans and any marital debts and assets.

Consider How This Will Affect Your Children

If there are minor children in your home, consider how they will feel when they learn you are getting a divorce. Take great care that you don’t put them in the middle of your differences with your ex. Pay close attention for behavioral changes, and work hard to be available to answer their questions. Above all, make certain that they understand that they are not the cause of your differences with your ex.

Contact Us

Let us put our commitment, experience and dedication to work for you. To arrange a confidential meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266.

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Montgomery County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
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