This is a sponsored guest post.
The modern household has undergone an evolution so that it is different from what it was a generation ago. Consequently, how spousal relationships are defined has changed even legally speaking. Today, as a de facto couple, you have the same rights under Family law when it comes to maintenance, children, financial settlements and property. The Family Law Act defines what is considered a de facto relationship and you can contact a family lawyer to help you figure out what seems murky.
Surprisingly most people are not able to see the matter clearly after they receive divorce papers. One of the dangers of this is that you may pass the time you are supposed to give a response. To get matters clear, divorce papers signify the first step towards dissolving your union legally. When you are served, you get a complaint and a summons. The summons tells you about your suit for assets and that the court will determine the issue. It explains your duties as required by the court.
The complaint, on the other hand, starts a civil action. It also details what your spouse wants in the divorce. Sometimes you may also get additional papers that grant temporary custody to the initiator of the process. In many states, the person who rolls the dice first has the advantage. This is why you will need to act decisively and quickly to put yourself in the right direction. To help to that end, here are four things to consider after you are served with divorce papers:
The Time of Response
Many people make the mistake of rejecting papers as soon as they see them. It is wise to accept the court papers when you get them. Depending on the laws of your state, it is considered a service even if they are left at your home whether you open them or not. You do yourself a disservice in ignoring them because the clock starts immediately the papers are in your hands.
In most cases, you get between 20 and 30 days to give a response. If you fail to counter-petition within the allocated period, your ex-spouse’s attorney can initiate a motion to ask the judge to answer the case. Of course, you can take the first few days to get your emotions in check but be sure you do not extend this period unnecessarily. You will need enough time to plan how you answer divorce papers.
The next thing you will want to consider is your legal representation. Getting speaking to a Family Law legal expert early enough will help you to clear out any confusion you might have regarding the content of your divorce papers. You will be able to sift through the legal jargon to understand what your responsibilities are and to chart a way forward.
Even if for some reason you do not think you need a lawyer, at the very least, consult them to find out what your rights are. They can give you useful advice and as the matter continues, you can decide whether or not to retain their services. The lawyer is also important in helping you prepare your response.
Another focal issue to consider upon receiving divorce papers is your money. You need to revise your financial assets and records. Consider doing away with joint accounts that you had with your ex-spouse. You can relocate the money to another personal account. Meanwhile, cut back on your expenses and start saving money because uncertainty looms in your future.
Your Child’s Point of View
Begin to think about the point of view of your children early enough. You do not want to include them in your disharmony. Considering them helps you to hold back in times when the urge to run down your ex-partner hits. Remember that you want them to survive the aftermath of your case and the whole situation.
Being served divorce papers does not need to be a catastrophe. Only take fast and calculated moves and you will set yourself up for a favourable result. If you can, work with a law firm that has sufficient experience in family law.