I was just served divorce papers. What do I do next?
You were just served divorce papers. You were most likely served with a Summons, Temporary Domestic Order, and the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
First – take a deep breath and try not to panic. The divorce process is stressful, but our attorneys are here to help you navigate the process and the court system.
Second – do not call your significant other to discuss. Focus on trying to stay calm.
Third – Respond to the Petition. You have 30 days to respond to the Petition, and it’s extremely important you don’t miss this deadline. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the document that opens the case, and includes information about the parties, the marriage, and any children. The Summons will include instructions for responding to the Petition. If you decide to hire an attorney, the attorney will respond to the Petition for you and make the process more streamlined and less stressful.
You should have also been served with the Temporary Domestic Order. This order mainly states during the pendency of the divorce, the status quo must remain. For example, you cannot sell your house, remove your spouse from your car insurance, take the children out of state without the other parent’s permission, etc. The order itself will lay out what is allowed and what is not allowed. Its purpose is to protect both parties during the divorce.
If you have questions about representing yourself pro se (without an attorney) or would like to hire an attorney to help you through your divorce, call a family law attorney or contact our office at 505-872-0505 to schedule an appointment.