It is not in your interests to ignore the service of divorce papers. If you have been served with divorce papers from a North County or San Diego Family Court you probably want to know what to do next. You may have been expecting this, or it may have come as a complete surprise. The two things you need to know today are:
- You have 30 days to respond
- You need to respond
If you ignore the service of divorce papers the Judge will almost always immediately agree to everything the “Petitioner” (your spouse) has requested. This includes orders regarding child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support and even the division of community assets and debts. Once the Judge in your case has issued these orders it will take a lot more time (and expense) to protect your interests down the road.
Your response should address each of the numbered statements on the divorce papers themselves. If you disagree with anything contained within the numbered statements you should propose something different. For example, if the petitioner asks for you to have visitation every other weekend you might want to propose alternating weeks with the children. The same is true for every issue associated with your divorce, including issues such as retirement accounts, proposed support or the disposition of the family home.
If you have children, substantial assets, own your home and/or a business or have a retirement plan you should consult with the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. We can help to answer any questions you have and work with you to make sure you make a timely response.
This may have come as a bit of a surprise, but it is best to avoid the initial instinct to ignore the service of divorce papers. Take a deep breath. You have 30 days or less to file a response.