What do I do if I am served with divorce papers?
Has your spouse served you with divorce papers? Here are the most important steps to take, right away.
1. READ EVERYTHING - Review all of the papers that you receive, carefully. Read the printed parts of the forms, they include important deadlines. In Michigan, the "Summons and Complaint" form must be served with the divorce papers. This form explains that you are being sued and that you have a certain amount of time to file a response. If you were personally served (someone came and handed you the divorce papers in person), you only have 21 days to file a response.
2. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY - Schedule an appointment with an attorney right away and let them know on the phone that you have been served and what day you were served so that their office can be sure to get you in promptly.
3. TAKE NOTES - All too often client's come in to the office and forget all the questions they have. Make a list of the questions you have ahead of time so that you can make the most of your first appointment with your attorney.
4. COMPLY WITH COURT ORDERS - If there are any court orders in your divorce papers, make sure you comply with them until your appointment with your attorney. Discuss any concerns you have with the attorney. Failure to comply with a court order can, in some circumstances, leave you in contempt of court. If you don't understand what your obligations are, ask questions. An experienced family law attorney can help you determine if any objections or Motions need to be filed.
5. MAKE A LIST - Make a list of all the major assets that you and your spouse have and the approximate value of each assets. Think about your home, vehicles, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. You should also take stock of any large items in your home. Eventually, you and your spouse will need to decide how to divide everything up fairly.
6. LOOK AHEAD - Being served with divorce papers can be traumatic and unexpected. Try not to get lost in the details of what is happening right now and think about what you want your life to look like when this process is over with. If you have children, think about what schedule makes the most sense for them and for your work schedules. If you have assets, think about how you want divide them. What seems reasonable and fair to you?
If you have recently been served with divorce papers, call our office today to discuss your options or schedule a consultation online by clicking here.
Lashier Law Firm