Maybe you didn’t see it coming. But there you are. A process server found you.

Sure, things have not been great at home. But the last thing you expected was to see your name as the Respondent in a divorce lawsuit. Now what?

You’ve got several things to worry about…

– Responding to the accusations in the lawsuit
– Dealing with the possible shame of being divorced
– Deciding on whether to get legal help through all of this
– Figuring out how the finances of this will all work
– Worrying about your kids, and on and on…

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Common Divorce Lawsuit Landmines

A great attorney will help you avoid all possible divorce lawsuit pitfalls. Here are just a few that you will want to discuss with your attorney…

1) Due date of the response in the lawsuit.

The clock starts ticking when you get served with the lawsuit (not from the filing date but from the date you were served).

In Arizona state courts you have until the Monday next following 20 days after service of the lawsuit.

It is important to file an answer and to not let the case go into “default” by failing to answer.

Most answers in divorce lawsuits are as a General Denial of the charges in the petition.

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2) Get a grip on your emotions and your life!

This is a really good time to reach out to a support team that is on your side.

And…this is probably a really bad time to reach out to your spouse.

Anger and heightened emotions rarely lead to quality resolutions of problems.

They do often lead to charges of family violence or other crimes that can cause a lifetime of trouble.

This is a great time to start finding a counselor, especially if there are children involved.

Experience has shown that this is a terrible time to start applying alcohol or drugs to the problem.

If you ever used drugs, even recreationally, your attorney will likely advise you that a drug test can be used against you in custody decisions.

If your spouse is using drugs this will not give you room to do the same!

3) Start thinking about legal representation.

Try to decide if you will need an attorney or if you want to do this yourself.

Generally speaking, with children of the marriage and property division to be considered, the cost of an attorney will likely more than offset the financial and emotional gains to be had from letting someone else figure out how to handle this.

4) Use your best manners on Facebook.

And all other social media. Seriously!

Your social media postings can be used against you. Don’t air your case in public.

This is a tough time for everyone involved… don’t overshare.

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5) Keep your kids out of it.

This cannot be stressed enough.

It’s bad enough that some children are naturally inclined to feel responsible in family divorce cases.

Don’t add to their problems by sharing your grief with them. Get a counselor involved asap.

Kids need more time to adapt to new counselors than adults; introducing your kids to a counselor early will help them open up to discuss their concerns as the going gets tougher.

Remember to respect the privacy of the counseling sessions. Let the kids have a safe zone where they are not held accountable to the feuding parents.

6) Tighten up on the finances.

This is not the time go out and make that major purchase that your spouse would not let you make.

Maybe you do deserve it. But now is not the time.

Whatever financial issues were in place before the divorce will only get worse.

There will soon be two households to run on the same money as before.

7) Family Violence.

You don’t have to put up with family violence. If there have been issues before, then anticipate that they will worsen.

Try to avoid situations where violence could occur. If you have the slightest sense that there could be a problem, try to avoid it.

If anything does happen, don’t hesitate to call 911 and report it.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

Getting served with divorce papers can seem catastrophic at the moment. But you will pull through it.

Keep your head up and keep seeking quality help and advice.

My law firm is standing by to help and answer any questions you may have.

Call me at 480-413-9300 today.

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