What should I do when I’m served with divorce papers?
If you were just served with divorce papers, you have a time limit in which to respond. There are a few ways that you can be served. The worst way is by sheriff, and the sheriff will write the date that you were served on his return of service. You have 20 days from that date to respond. You could also be served by mail. If you’re served by a certified card, restricted delivery, the date that you signed on that is the date that is considered service. What you should do is consult with an attorney about filing an answer.
Usually people file a counterclaim as well. The reason that you file a counterclaim is that you, too, may want the divorce. If the person who served you decides that he/she doesn’t want to go forward and you’ve counterclaimed, you may continue with the process. You don’t have to start all over again. At minimum, get online and figure out what an answering counterclaim looks like, and make sure that you file that within the 20 days. If you don’t file a response, the court will schedule a final hearing, and you may find that you’re stuck with the divorce judgment that you didn’t want.
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