What are my options after being served with divorce papers? If your former wife or husband has served you with divorce papers what you’ve probably received is a “Summons” and a “Petition.” You will be known as the “respondent” in the case going forward and your ex is the “petitioner.”
You need to read these papers very carefully. Your ex, the petitioner, is asking the court for some very specific things involving your children, home, assets, debts and even the family pet(s).
You have a choice to make, and you have only 30 days to make your decision and take action. The choice depends upon how you feel about what is contained within those papers. You basically have four options after being served with divorce papers by a former spouse or domestic partner:
Option 1 – Ignore it and do nothing. You may think you can ignore this, and technically you are correct. If you choose to ignore it you need to understand one very important fact: your ex will get every single thing they requested in the divorce papers. Ignoring the Summons waives your right to participate in the case and assert your own interests and results in a “default divorce.”
Option 2 – Default with agreement. You may choose to do nothing because you already have a notarized agreement with your former spouse which literally covers everything associated with your divorce including but not limited to:
- Child custody and parenting time
- Debt and asset division
- Disposition of the family home, pet(s) and retirement assets
- Child support and spousal support
You should still contact our attorneys to review the paperwork from the court to ensure your notarized agreement is accurately represented within the Petition and your rights are protected.
Option 3 – File a response and work on reaching an agreement. This is probably the most common option in Carlsbad divorce cases. In these cases you would choose to file a response with the court and work to reach agreement with your former spouse on all issues associated with the divorce. Issues of disagreement are resolved through effective negotiation or mediation. This process usually results in an ultimate agreement which both parties can agree upon and live with following the divorce.
Option 4 – File a response which contests your former spouse’s Petition. This response tells the court after receiving the divorce papers and giving the matter careful consideration you disagree strongly with you former spouse’s requests and request the court to hear your case.
The Family Law Certified Specialists at Burke & Domercq have decades of experience in Carlsbad divorce cases. The answer to the question “What are my options after being served with divorce papers?” is one of the four options above, but which is in your best interests? We invite you to read our client’s reviews and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment to learn more and gain insight into this important decision.