I’ve Been Served with Divorce Papers, Help!

As soon as you are served with divorce papers it is very important that you speak with an experienced family law attorney immediately. There can be dire consequences to failing to file an answer or counterclaim to a divorce complaint within certain time limits.  You have thirty days from the day that you are served with the divorce complaint to file an answer and any counterclaims that you may have against your spouse. You may also ask for an extension of time to file an answer prior to your thirty days expiring. If you fail to answer the divorce complaint, a judge can enter a default judgment against you and your spouse will be granted the divorce.

Also, if you wish to resume your marital name, it is important to file an answer for divorce requesting that the judge allow you to resume your maiden name. If you do not, you will have to file an action in special proceedings to legally change your name. This will require additional fees and a separate court proceeding. 

If a divorce is granted and the other spouse did not preserve his or her right for equitable distribution, alimony and post-separation support, that spouse may lose the right to petition the court to address these issues.  In short, it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights and specific situation.