Being served with divorce papers can come as an extreme shock. This can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially if you are not the one who wants the divorce. Continue reading to understand what you should do if you are served with divorce papers and how an experienced Morris County divorce lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can support you through the process, every step of the way.
How are divorce papers officially served in the state of New Jersey?
To begin divorce proceedings in the state of New Jersey, an attorney must prepare the divorce complaint and file it with the court. This must be done before divorce papers are served so that there is proof that one spouse is suing the other spouse for divorce.
Then, if a document titled Summons and Complaint for Divorce is delivered to you, this means you are being served. This document allows the New Jersey courts to hear and determine your case. It will state that your spouse is suing you for divorce and outline what they want to receive in the settlement agreement.
Importantly, this document must be served within 10 days of filing the divorce complaint. Also, it must be personally hand-delivered by your spouse, unless you agree that it can be served through an attorney.
How should I handle being served divorce papers?
Once you are served divorce papers, you are required to respond to the court within a certain period of time. You may also have to serve your spouse with a copy of your response. Specifically, in the state of New Jersey, you typically have 35 days after being served to file a response. Failure to do so will allow the court to assume that you do not contest the divorce and that you agree to all of the terms written in the summons. This will ultimately grant your spouse the divorce, and everything else that they requested, by default. So, the takeaway here is to find the response due date listed in the summons and consider it a serious deadline.
Additionally, it is important that you know your options with your divorce proceedings. For instance, you and your spouse can decide to call off your divorce, take it to court, or amicably settle an agreement through different types of dispute resolutions, such as mediation, collaboration, or arbitration. To better understand which path is best for you and your spouse, do not hesitate in consulting with a skilled Morristown family law attorney today.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Firm
Contact Graves Andrews, LLC to schedule an initial consultation with our experienced Morris County family law attorneys to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.