The thought of divorce can be scary, especially when it's unexpected and it feels like it comes out of nowhere. If you've recently been served divorce papers, you may be in a state of shock and may also be wondering what you need to do next. Taking the right steps can help you better prepare for the divorce process and get your affairs in order for the future. Keep reading to see what you should do once you've been served with divorce papers:
Keep Calm and Avoid Making an Emotional Response
It can be stressful and upsetting to receive divorce papers, but you want to make sure that you choose to react correctly after this event. It's important to remain calm and not make decisions or react based on your emotional response. Yes, it's scary, upsetting, and disappointing, but you can and will get through this. If you do need to communicate with your spouse, keep it civil and handle all communications professionally without argument or added emotion.
Read the Papers
You'll want to take a look at the divorce papers and read them through carefully. Within the papers, there will be important information related to the legal filings and the divorce matters. There will also be a deadline listed as to when you'll need to respond to the papers. It's best to read everything through and get as much information as possible.
Contact a Divorce Attorney
Your next step is to contact an attorney. Your spouse will be utilizing an attorney and you want to make sure that you get a fair shot at this legal matter. Having your own attorney is a must. They will help you form a response to the summons and they will also help you better navigate the divorce process.
Take Time to Gather Documents
You'll need a lot of documentation as you go through the divorce process. It's a good idea to start collecting documents early on. This will help your attorney best help you. Items that you will need include your marriage license, tax records, financial documents, and personal documentation. It'll save you time later on if you have these items ready to go.
If you've been served with divorce papers, don't be fearful—but also make sure that you don't delay action. You will get through this life change and will have many good things to look forward to in the future. If you have any questions, contact a divorce law firm in your area.