Here’s what to do if you have been served with divorce papers in Florida.
Served with divorce papers in Fort Myers, Florida?
If you have been served with divorce papers in Florida, you should contact a lawyer immediately, as you only have 20 days to prepare a response. The term divorce papers are commonly used to refer to a document called the Initial Petition for Divorce. It is merely the paper that gets the divorce rolling. Once you have been served with a petition for divorce, the clock is ticking and you and your lawyer will need to file a response called an Answer within 20 days.
You may be in shock, you may be angry, or you may be upset. Perhaps you were expecting the papers and you aren’t upset at all. However you are feeling, you must seek the advice of an experienced and competent divorce lawyer as quickly as possible.
Respond to divorce papers with a counter-petition?
Your lawyer will file the answer and often will also file a Counter-Petition for divorce with the court within the time limit. The effect of the Counter-Petition is that neither party can decide to end the litigation unless both parties agree to it. The party filing the Counter-Petition can raise separate claims in the counter-petition and both parties have a right to have their claims heard by the court. Your lawyer will help you decide if you need to file a Counter-Petition or not.
What happens if I fail to respond to the divorce papers on-time?
If the 20 days lapses and you have failed to file a response to the divorce papers, also called the initial petition for divorce, the other side can obtain a default judgment of divorce against you.
Additionally, your lawyer can discuss with you the different types of divorces that you can get in Florida: A Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, Uncontested Divorce and Contested Divorce and which may be right for you. Some factors to discuss with your lawyer are whether either party will be seeking Alimony, whether there are any children involved, and what the assets and liabilities of the couple are.
If you have been served with divorce papers, you must consult with a lawyer before filing so that you understand the likely costs and impact of the divorce process given your specific circumstances.
Divorce Attorney – Fort Myers, Florida
Our Fort Myers divorce attorneys can help you with your divorce.
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We are serving Fort Myers and surrounding cities and counties in Southwest, Florida such as Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Charlotte and Hendry counties.