What Should I Do If I Was Served Divorce Papers?

After your spouse has filed for divorce, you were probably served divorce papers. What steps should you immediately take?

1. Make sure you were properly served. Personal service is when a constable, sheriff, or a private process server delivers you the divorce papers. Your spouse cannot just hand you the filed divorce petition or complaint.

2. READ the divorce papers.

3. Make sure the court listed on the divorce paper has jurisdiction. A court with has the right to hear your case, render a judgment, and enforce the judgment. Every state has different rules regarding what is required for a court to obtain jurisdiction.

4. Check how many days you have to file an answer or response. Every state has different rules regarding the number of days you must reply to the divorce papers or else your spouse can move forward with a default divorce. A default divorce, also called a default judgment, is when the court issues a judgment in favor of your spouse due to your failure to take any action.

5. Do not do anything stupid. Do not start going on a spending spree and depleting all community assets. This would not look good in front of a judge or a jury!


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