First Steps in a Divorce
Going through a divorce can be a very stressful and overwhelming affair. If you are considering divorce in New Jersey, you will want the process to be as quick and streamlined as possible. Here are a few things you need to know about making the correct first steps in a divorce.
First Steps in a Divorce | Choosing an Attorney
The most important step – and the first step in your divorce process – is to do the appropriate research and select an attorney to represent you. It’s important to realize that this involves more than just knowing whether an attorney is knowledgeable in the area, although that is certainly very important. You must make sure that you and the attorney with whom you decide to work have a rapport where you can easily and confidently talk to the attorney. Not only that, but you must be sure that you understand what the attorney is telling you. In other words, choose someone who can speak plain English to you, so that you fully understand and know how to proceed.
First Steps in a Divorce | Serving Divorce Papers
A few factors must be considered when serving your spouse with a divorce summons and complaint. If yours is a friendly divorce and it’s simply a matter of having the spouse who will be the defendant acknowledge receipt, they can sign an acknowledgment of service of the complaint upon them, and that acknowledgement could then be filed with the court to show that they were, in fact, served.
If the spouse will not sign an acknowledgment of service, or if you simply don’t know where the spouse is – or if the spouse adamantly refuses to accept service – you’ll have to enlist the services of a process server. The process server can serve the spouse either at their home or where they work. If you know that your spouse will be at a gym or other specific place at certain times, you can arrange for the process server to wait for them there and personally serve them with the complaint.
First Steps in a Divorce | Responding to Divorce Papers
These are time sensitive matters and you only have a certain amount of time to file an answer and counterclaim. The typical time-frame is about 35 days from the time you’ve been served. In order to protect your rights regarding custody, child support, assets, and other issues, it’s imperative that you do not delay, especially if there are children involved. It is very important to take prompt action to retain an attorney to represent you.
Do you have any questions regarding the first steps in a divorce process? Please contact our experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer today for a free consultation.