What should I do after being served divorce papers? 23 Answers as of May 13, 2011

I have just been served papers and I need to know how to proceed from here.

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
A formal Answer must be submitted to the attorney for the other spouse. It would be best to hire a Matrimonial attorney to handle the matter for you. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Speak to family and friends about who they recommend as counsel. Take the complaint to the lawyer for his or her review and response. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/11/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
In Oregon, you have 30 days from the date of service in which to respond. Otherwise, the moving party can request a default judgment, meaning they would receive everything they asked for in the divorce papers. I would highly recommend consulting with an attorney regarding your options, and soon. There is a deadline.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/11/2011
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
Once served with divorce papers, you'll have 30 days to respond. Because divorce can be complicated, especially if there are children or assets involved, you should contact a local family law attorney to make sure all of your interests are protected.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Hire a lawyer. At the very least file a General Denial and I would recommend a Counter-Petition for divorce. No matter what you do, do not sit around and do nothing. Most questions I get like this one are from people who want to handle the case themselves. I cannot give you enough information to let you competently do this yourself. No lawyer can. The reason is that every case is different and I do not know any details, are there kids, property, do you and your spouse agree to anything, everything? Are there debts, retirement accounts, claims for reimbursement? I highly suggest you take advantage of a free consultation. Many divorce lawyers, myself included, offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case, get details, help you decide if you need a lawyer or not.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/10/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It is important that you serve on the other party and file in court an Answer to the Petition for divorce. You must do so within thirty (30) days or the opposing party may seek to proceed by default. A default means that the Court will generally allow the divorce and determine the relief (who pays what debts and who receives what property), without your input. As a result, acting in a timely fashion is of the essence.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You should hire an attorney to protect your rights. The attorney knows the procedures and the time frame in which certain papers have to be filed. For instance, if you do not file an answer within a certain period of time a default judgment can be entered against you and your spouse may be granted all that was petitioned for in the Petition for dissolution. We offer free 30 minute consultations at our office. Call us today.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You need to file a response to the petition and serve a copy on your spouse within twenty days of being served.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Consult with a lawyer. You need to respond to the petition at the very least. There may be much more you should or can do. Many attorneys give a free consultation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You have 30 days to file a response or the other side will file a default and they will get everything. Hire a family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You get a lawyer. Right away. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You should consult a family law attorney to discuss your precise situation so that you can determine what problems will need to be solved and how best to solve them.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You should at least consult with an attorney in your area. Many like this firm offer free initial consultations but even if not the meeting will be worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    You have 30 days to file a response to the divorce papers. If you are unsure about how to proceed you may want to seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    You need to file and serve a response to the petition. See the Summons for when that is due (usually 20 days after service).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You file a Response so as to avoid a default. I strongly recommend hiring an experienced family law attorney to assist you. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    You should call an attorney and request an appointment to discuss your situation and how best to respond to the contents of the divorce papers. Usually, a divorce situation has a few unique characteristics so it is best to discuss your particular situation with someone who can advise you on what to do to protect your legal rights and achieve your objectives.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    In order to protect your interests, you should hire an experienced attorney to file an answer on your behalf (responding to the Complaint) and assist you in either negotiating a settlement agreement or preparing for trial.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    Well you need to note when your twenty days to respond expires and then either file a response by then or seek out an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You need to file a Response (form FL-120) with the court within 30 days, as well as have it served on your spouse. As an alternative, if you and your spouse can resolve all your divorce issues by agreement, then you can avoid filing a Response, and instead, finish your divorce by "default with agreement." It would be best to call a local family law lawyer to explain your options in greater detail. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You must file and serve a formal Response within 30 days after you were served. If there are issues of any significance (i.e., child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, property division, allocation of debts, or attorney's fees) addressed in your spouse's Petition, or which should be addressed in the case, or if you don't know how to handle your own side of the case, you should at least consult, if not retain, an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in the divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
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