Your spouse has just served you with some divorce papers, and you are feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. Such a feeling is always expected, especially if the news has come as a surprise. For some, the news comes after years of separation, but it might be soon after separation for others. Either way, knowing what to do next after a divorce paper serving is critical. When you take the right steps, you will end your marriage peacefully. Here are tips to get you started.
Go Through the Papers
Once the court process server has left, you need to read what is contained in the papers carefully. Check for fine details, such as the court where your ex-spouse did the filing. If the court is in another state, you need to prepare before the deadline indicated in the document. You also need to respond before the stated date. More importantly, determine whether your ex-spouse is working with a lawyer.
Get In Touch With a Family Lawyer
If the papers show that a solicitor is involved, you should also take the initiative and hire one to represent you. Even if you are a lawyer by profession, you might not be fit enough for the proceedings during that time. In addition, divorces involve many things like child support, property-splitting, inheritance and much more that you may not understand well. Keep in mind that the slightest mishap could cost you a lot. A divorce lawyer will particularly come in handy if the separation is highly contentious.
Find Out How Much You Owned in the Marriage
After your ex-spouse serves divorce papers, they might pursue property division right away. For that reason, you need to determine your share in the marital assets. Once you know what belongs to you through your lawyer's guidance, you can take the next measure to secure it. For instance, you can create a new bank account and transfer your shares from your previous joint account.
Decide Whether to Go the Court or Mediation Way
It is possible to dissolve a marriage through mediation rather than going directly to court. However, you and your ex-spouse have to agree on this option. In the unfortunate event that you cannot seem to agree during the mediation process, the matter has to move to court.
These are the crucial steps you need to take when the court takes the action to serve divorce papers at your doorstep. Remember to engage a specialised and seasoned divorce lawyer right at the onset of the case to ensure smooth sailing.Share
28 May 2021
No one gets married planning to get divorced, but by the time I see them it's pretty obvious why they are getting divorced. When a marriage is beyond repair I'm there to fight for my clients right's under family and property law and to get them the best deal I can possibly negotiate. Even if you feel like your case is messy or complicated, I can guarantee in my time as a lawyer I have seen and heard worse things! This site has a collection of useful articles and links on developments and case law in the Family Court of Australia.