What To Do When Your Spouse Serves Divorce Papers

2 rings on the ground

If you’ve been served with divorce papers, you might be feeling upset or overwhelmed. You might not even want to respond, but you must address the elephant in the room right away. Understanding the initial steps that you’ll need to take can clear your thoughts and help you plan ahead. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of those steps. So let’s begin. 

Remain Calm and File an Answer

Fight the urge to have an emotional breakdown and focus on answering the divorce papers. You have two options. You can ignore the filing, in which case your divorce will occur by default, and the court will give your spouse whatever they’re demanding—child custody, alimony, child support, and property. 

Alternatively, and preferably, you can respond and file a petition. Some states allow divorce on the grounds of abandonment, adultery, and emotional or physical cruelty. You can also propose a counter allocation of the division of resources or address alimony and child support issues. 

Don’t Involve the Children

Keep the children out of the conflict. It’s not healthy for children to be involved in the dispute. Remember, what’s happening is between you and your spouse, and it should remain that way. It’s not appropriate to pass negative comments about your spouse and demonize them in front of children. 

It’s also crucial to let children interact with the other parent. Don’t keep them from your spouse. However, if there has been abuse or violence, you should contact your lawyer and ask them to get an order of protection. Without one, you don’t have the legal right to prevent your children from meeting their other parent.  

Get Organized

Bunch of dollar bills

During the divorce proceedings, the court will ask you for a lot of information. Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin organizing and compiling your records. In addition, you should also make financial arrangements. Get rid of the joint financial accounts and transfer what’s yours to your personal account. 

Avoid Doing Anything That Might Hurt Your Case

It’s crucial to avoid domestic disputes at this time. Don’t put yourself in a position where the police will intervene because of your actions. If your spouse provokes you, walk away from the situation and take a couple of deep breaths. You don’t want to be charged with a crime at this point. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ll be found guilty; the fact is that being involved in a dispute might hurt your chances of getting a fair trial. 

Detach from Social Media

Don’t post anything on social media that could negatively impact your case. Commenting using inappropriate language or posting pictures of you being drunk or naked could disqualify you from getting custody of your children. If you feel you’ll slip, deactivate all social media accounts until the proceedings are done. It’ll be safer this way. 

If you’re in New York and have been given divorce summons papers, there’s no need to panic. We can help you out. We’re one of the leading legal agencies, and we understand just how stressful family court can be. 

Contact us to learn more. 


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