Getting served with divorce papers can be a difficult and emotional experience.
When you are served it’s important to read all documents carefully. It can be overwhelming, you don’t need to panic, but don’t want to procrastinate either. Once served, you only have 30-days to serve and file your Responsive paperwork. That gives you time to consult with an experienced family law attorney. If you do not respond within this time frame, your spouse may be able to get a default judgment against you, which means the court will make decisions about the divorce without your input.
Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you to protect your rights and explain how the law applies to the facts of your divorce case. A consultation can also help you with preparing your Responsive paperwork and avoid violating court orders. For example, page two of the Summons contains Standard Family Law Restraining Orders, which are also called Automatic Restraining Orders (ATROs). ATROs apply to both parties and impact decisions for the parties’ insurance, banking, property, minor children, and more. An experienced family law attorney can explain how to work within the ATROs and what exceptions might apply to you, as well your options to help you navigate the divorce process.
If you and your spouse are willing and able to work together, you may be able to avoid a contentious divorce by choosing mediation. If you and your spouse choose mediation, it’s still best to consult with or hire an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can serve as Mediator for your matter, acting as neutral third-party to guide parties through the family law process. Further, Mediators can help parties create agreements outside of the courtroom.
Finally, be careful about trying to go the “do it yourself” route. There are web sites and services promoting that option, but California family law and the divorce process can be complicated. Even if you think your divorce is simple, you don’t want to find out after your judgment is finalized that you waived or forgot to secure important rights.
If you have been served or are considering filing for divorce, speak with an experienced family law attorney at The Reape-Rickett Law Firm, Santa Clarita’s largest full-service family law firm. Our attorneys can answer your questions, guide you through the process, and help you avoid costly mistakes. Contact The Reape-Rickett Law Firm today at (888) 851-1611 or visit our Contact Us Page here.