What Should I Do After Receiving Divorce Papers in California?
Receiving a divorce petition can occur in one of two ways. Either you were expecting them, or you were blindsided by them. While the latter is often much harder to grasp, the reality is — the papers are here, and you will have to respond.
At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our divorce attorney in San Bernardino, California knows that the next steps must be taken very seriously because how you respond to the divorce petition can severely impact the outcome of your case.
Here are a few tips to help ensure you are making informed decisions about your future directly after you receive a divorce petition.
Tip One: Do Not Ignore the Divorce Petition
While we understand that sometimes it is easier to avoid the reality of a difficult situation, you cannot simply set a divorce petition aside and pretend it never arrived.
Review the divorce petition thoroughly to locate several key pieces of information:
- Which court the action was filed in
- The deadline for responding to the petition, so you can get your affairs in order
- The grounds for divorce, as even a no-fault state like California, requires a reason, which could simply be irreconcilable differences
- Whether your spouse has an attorney, or if they filed the paperwork on their own
Understanding the information in your divorce papers is essential for building a strong response and legal strategy for your case.
Tip Two: Thoroughly Prepare Your Response
Once you determine the reply deadline, you must respond to each numbered statement in the divorce papers. If you disagree with the contents, this is your chance to propose a different allocation of your assets and debts, or address matters like spousal support, child custody, and child support, when applicable.
Failing to respond to divorce papers may result in your spouse receiving everything he or she asked for in the divorce petition, as the court will use your lack of response as a green light for awarding their requests.
Tip Three: Consult with an Experienced San Bernardino Divorce Attorney
The more involved the petition, the more likely it is that you will need an attorney to draft your response, so your rights and best interests are protected throughout the process.
Once you have reviewed the divorce petition, contacting an attorney will help you answer any questions you have about the details therein, so you are not left worrying about the unknown.
At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our Certified San Bernardino Family Law Specialist will evaluate your situation, discuss your options, and determine the best way to ensure your legal interests are fully protected.
We can also help simplify the process by managing important deadlines, mediating stressful communications, and providing advice regarding child custody, visitation rights, and parenting plan decisions, so you can on properly communicate with your spouse going forward.
Call Today To Speak With A Lawyer
If you have been served with divorce papers, and are not sure where to go from here, contact our San Bernardino County family law attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help create real-time solutions for your case, so you can move forward with confidence.