You are going about your daily activities. You wake up in the morning, get the kids ready for school, drop them off on your way into work, go about your work day, and then come home and relax for the evening. Everything seems normal. That is, until you are served divorce papers while sitting at your desk at work. You are confused and ask the deliver multiple times to check the name. However, every time he checks, it is you, and your spouse is serving you with papers. What do you do?
Accept the papers, but do not sign yet
You may be tempted to decline the papers. Yet, if you do not take the papers from the delivery person, you are unable to check the legitimacy and stipulations of them. If your spouse served you with papers, it is likely that they are legitimate. However, you will also want to know the terms of the papers. Do not sign them yet, which means that you are agreeing to the divorce. It is best to first consult with a divorce lawyer before beginning the divorce process.
Contact your spouse
This may not always be necessary. If your spouse has already notified you that they intended to file, or you knew that your marriage was headed toward a divorce process, the papers were probably somewhat expected. However, if you truly had no idea of this intention, it may be helpful to contact your spouse. Sit down and have a serious talk with them. Sometimes, spouses file papers to make another partner aware of a problem in the marriage. You do not want to hire a divorce and custody lawyer and then decide you are going to go to marriage counseling first instead.
Hire a divorce attorney
If divorce seems inevitable, then it is time to hire a divorce attorney. If children are involved, you may want to hire the best child custody lawyer. Your divorce attorney will give you all the divorce advice you require. They will also look at your individual case, including who has ownership of what, income, and other monetary assets. These are all things that will come up during the divorce process. The average length of divorce proceedings in the United States is 1 year. This time can be extended much longer, if you do not have an experienced divorce lawyer handling your case.
Keep documents of everything
Some divorces go smoothly. Each spouse agrees to split everything, equally and there are minimal disagreements around who gets what. Other divorces, however, are not quite so smooth. The spouses argue over everything, including financials, business rights, and the children. When children are involved, the divorce process can become especially difficult. You may not believe that your spouse will be the vindictive type, but the divorce process changes people. Always be safe and keep any and all documents that can help support you in court.
Try to keep emotions minimal
Although the divorce process is commonly an extremely emotional process, emotions should not be a part of the proceedings. Emotions cause people to overreact and to give up items they are deserving of. It causes people to limit someone else?s parental rights, all because they are angry about the divorce. Try to keep a level head when going through the divorce process and you will find that it is much easier to get through.
Divorces are, unfortunately, extremely common in the United States. Western states typically have the highest marriage and divorce rates, followed by the South. The Northeast has the lowest marriage and divorce rates. In America as a whole, the divorce rate for a first marriage is around 41%. A divorce may be expected of a troublesome marriage or it may come as a complete surprise. Regardless of the process, it is important to hire a qualified divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. Attempt to keep emotions out of the process and allow your divorce attorney to do the majority of the work.