What to Do After Being Served with Divorce Papers?

What to Do After Being Served with Divorce Papers?

Nothing can be as overwhelming as being served divorce papers from your partner. Whether you were expecting to be served or if this has completely caught you by surprise, most people have the same question. What do I do after I’ve been served?

Once the lawsuit has been filed against you in court, the divorce process starts with you being notified, or served, with papers from a process server or law enforcement officer. The Paperwork served will tell you that you need to respond to this petition within the statutory time frame.

When you receive an Original Petition for Divorce, it should identify you by your name, along with the names of any children that are under the age of 18. The Petition will also detail the grounds, or reason, for divorce. You will also receive a citation with this Original Petition. This will tell you that you have been served with a legal document and that you need to file an answer with the appropriate office, and it will give you a specific date.

In the state of Texas, this date is within 20 days plus a Monday following being served. You typically have until 10:00 AM that day to respond.

This can be extremely overwhelming. It can be unnerving. The instructions can be difficult to follow. The language can be confusing to process.  You may feel as though you haven’t done anything wrong, but also feel as though you are in some sort of trouble. That can be overwhelming. And we understand.

The first and most important thing to do is to contact a lawyer. Do not put this off. In Texas, you have approximately mere weeks to hire an attorney and have your answer filed. So, with that in mind, you should act swiftly, but you shouldn’t act with haste. Still take the time to research and hire an attorney that you can trust to help you.

While you can file your answer on your own, we always recommend you use an attorney to represent you during the process. The legal process involved with filing a divorce is very time consuming and requires a lot of tedious work, on top of the emotional stress of going through this process. Hiring an attorney who has gone through the process several times before, can ensure that you have someone on your side to guide you through this difficult time.

Once you have interviewed and found a Texas area attorney that you trust, you should start collecting and organizing any paperwork that may help you in this process. This includes bank statements, financial documents, any documents related to your house, tax returns and any other relevant information that may be used in this process. Your attorney will guide you from there.

If you have questions about filing for divorce, or any of the other common steps involved in these proceedings contact the family law professionals at Navarrette | Bowen. Our team is here to help with all of your family law needs and can help you through every step of the way during the divorce proceedings. While no one ever wants to go through a divorce, we are here to help make this process as pain free as possible for you and your family.  

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Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. | Family Law Attorneys | Denton, TX