What Do I Do If I’ve Been Served Divorce Papers?

divorce papers with pen

Getting served with divorce papers can be a stressful experience, especially when you are not sure how the divorce process works and how you are supposed to respond to being served. If you have any questions, you should speak with a Shelby County, Tennessee divorce attorney from our law firm. We are prepared to champion your interests and fight for the best possible outcome.

What Should I Do When I Receive Divorce Papers?

When you are served with divorce papers you should first take the time to read them over carefully. Knowing exactly what they say can help you make your response and negotiate your own terms of the divorce.

Then we recommend talking to a seasoned divorce lawyer. An attorney can help you with every stage of the divorce process, including these initial steps when you have to respond and decide exactly what kind of end result you want to fight for.

How Can I Respond to Divorce Papers?

In order to be a part of these divorce proceedings, you are going to need to respond by filing an “answer.” When you file your answer you can also file your own divorce papers, usually referred to as a “counter-claim.”

This paperwork must be filed within 30 days. That time can pass quickly, which is why having a lawyer around to handle such things for you can be such a benefit.

What Should I Avoid Doing After Receiving Divorce Papers?

There are some actions that you might want to avoid after being served. You do not want to:

Ignore the papers: Your divorce can just go on without your input if you do not respond. This means that the court can just render a “default judgment” in your spouse’s favor. This gives you no input at all over who gets which assets.

Neglect your mental health: This is a taxing time. Do not forget to focus on yourself and take care of your own mental health as you go through this process.

Talk badly about your spouse: This may feel good in the moment, but it does not help anyone. It can be especially damaging if your children witness you behaving this way.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

Having an attorney on your side can help tremendously. A lawyer from our firm will:

  • Help you manage paperwork and the required forms
  • Keep track of any deadlines
  • Attempt to secure the best possible terms for you in your divorce

This can be a stressful time and it can be hard to stay on top of everything that needs to be done during divorce proceedings. We can take some of the work off your plate.

Schedule Your Consultation

Divorce is never an easy thing to go through, but it can be a bit easier when you have an experienced lawyer on your side. If you have been served with divorce papers, contact Rice Law and set up a consultation. We would love to take the time to tell you more about what we can do to help.