What Happens If Divorce Papers Are Served on Me?

Today is not going to go well. You were at home or at work when you were served with divorce papers. You, like most others, are asking what steps you should take to safeguard yourself, your possessions, and your children. A thirty day clock began the minute you were issued those documents by a sheriff or process server, and you must produce reply pleadings before that time runs out. This is not the time to put your head in the sand or ignore the situation. Even if you believe you can reconcile, you must file something to avoid what is known as a “Default Judgment” against you. A Default Judgment is issued when a party fails to answer to the Petition for Dissolution within the required time limit, which is thirty days. The counsel representing the opposite party will file a Motion for Default Judgment setting with the Court, claiming that because you have decided not to participate in these proceedings, the Court should just grant their client’s request. Orders for asset and debt division, child custody, a parenting plan, child support, and maintenance can be issued by default judgments. If you do not have anything on file given by fort worth divorce lawyers, the Court will assume that your spouse has completely disclosed everything and will issue Orders against you.

What to do after obtaining divorce papers

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The initial step is to call a local divorce attorney. You need to file your own documentation. At the very least, these contain an Answer to the Petition for Dissolution and, in most circumstances, financial statements and a Counter-Petition for Dissolution. There will be no default judgment taken against you as long as those remain on file.

The response to the Petition for Dissolution is straightforward. You read through the lines and admit or refute your spouse’s charges. If any of the statements in the numbered paragraphs are incorrect, refute the entire thing. That is, the opposing party must prove the accusation in Court.

If you cannot afford a fort worth divorce lawyers, you should at the very least consult with one to explain your rights and obtain aid with filing your own documentation. It is the attorney’s responsibility to obtain everything possible for their client, and failing to reply or going in without skilled representation will harm you in the long run. You must act quickly to safeguard yourself, your possessions, and your children.

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