One of the most frightening things that can happen to a married person
is to be served with a
Divorce Summons. Nobody wants a stranger coming to their home and handing them legal papers.
Reading the allegations or the list of what your spouse wants is both
emotionally and financially upsetting.
While you may believe that the items requested by your spouse have been
custom drafted for your case, it is more than likely that they are predominantly
the standard requests made by divorce attorneys. It is important to know
that your attorney will request similar things on your behalf and then
your spouse can be equally upset.
Keep track of the day that you received the papers because there is a time
period of 20 days to answer or "appear" in response to the Summons.
You should immediately begin researching divorce attorneys so that you
make the right choice from the beginning. If you know an attorney you
may want to get a referral. If you have a friend or family member that
has been divorced ask for a recommendation if they were satisfied with
their attorney. Read reviews and visit the website of the attorney.
If paying for an attorney may be difficult for you consider whether you
have available credit on a credit card or if a family member may be able
to lend you the money until your case is resolved or you possibly receive
an order requiring your spouse to pay all or part of your attorney's fees.
Begin making a list of your
assets and debts. Obtain a copy of your most recent tax return. Copy any financial statements
for bank, investment and retirement accounts. Keep a copy of any large
bills that have to be paid and open credit card balances.
Stay involved in your children's activities, education, religious training,
medical needs and other daily events.
Choose an attorney that is experienced, that understands your concerns
and that you are confident will provide you with dedicated representation
and good advice. Remember that the case will be resolved and 98% of cases
settle without a trial so your case will probably be in that large group.