For many people, a divorce proceeding is the first time that they have been served with legal papers. At a time when you may be angry or grieving the end of your marriage, you are also dealing with the anxiety of having to be in court to fight for what matters most to you such as your kids, your financial stability, and your home.
Stay Calm and Make a Plan
Once you have been served with the papers it is important to remain calm and to make a plan to protect yourself and your rights. Specifically, our Pennsylvania divorce attorneys recommend that you:
- Carefully Read the Papers Served to You. They contain important information about what your spouse is seeking, how you should respond, the dates by which you need to respond, and about your rights. The papers should include a:
- Cover Sheet. This tells you where the case was filed, which attorney is representing your spouse and other important information you will need to respond appropriately to the complaint.
- Notice to Defend. This explains what will happen to you if you fail to take action on the papers served to you and encourages you to seek the help of a lawyer.
- Complaint. This document gets to the heart of the matter. It tells you what your spouse is seeking from you.
- Verification. This is your spouse’s formal affirmation that the information in the complaint is true.
- Supporting Documentation. Additional documentation may also be provided.
- Make a Plan Now That You Know What Your Spouse is Requesting. Take note of all deadlines noted in the papers and the issues raised by your spouse. Think about whether you are going to contest the requests and/or make some of your own or whether you are pretty much in agreement with the plan outlined by your spouse.
Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
You have the right to represent yourself in a divorce proceeding. However, it is important to know that your spouse is already being represented by an attorney who is going to do his or her best to get your spouse what he or she wants.
You deserve the same advantage.
You deserve to be able to focus on your life and your emotions with the security of knowing that you have a PA divorce lawyer advocating for you. You may have received the divorce papers when you were alone, but you do not have to go through the legal proceedings by yourself. Instead, please call our office today to discuss how we may be able to help you through this difficult time.