Being served with divorce papers can feel like a punch to the gut. It can leave your life feeling like it’s spinning out of control, and your financial future can hang in the balance. All of that stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but you can get through this process one step at a time while protecting your interests.
What to do after being served with a divorce petition
When you’re served with divorce papers, you need to take a deep breath, slow down, and come up with a plan of action. Here are some steps that you should be sure to take as you move forward with your strategy:
- Carefully read the divorce petition and its accompanying summons. This will let you know how your spouse wants to divide marital assets, the deadline by which you need to respond to the petition, and your court date.
- Gather key records. This includes important financial records like tax returns and titles to larger pieces of property. You’ll also want your most recent bank and retirement account statements so that you’re prepared to address property division in your marriage dissolution.
- Create your own bank account. Although you can’t deposit marital assets into this account, you can start directing your own funds here so that you have some finances you can access as your divorce plays out.
- Prepare your response to the petition. When responding to the divorce petition, you can make counterclaims that seek alternative ways to split marital assets. You could also address child custody, child support, and spousal support in your response or counterclaim.
Don’t be afraid of divorce, be prepared
We know that getting through your marriage dissolution can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be a process that threatens your financial stability and your relationship with your children. But to protect your interests, you have to know how to competently navigate your divorce, which is why now is the time to educate yourself on the process and surround yourself with the support that you need to successfully get through this difficult time.