You’ve Been Served With Divorce Papers; What Now?
While most Michigan divorces don’t happen overnight, receiving your divorce papers from your spouse can still be an emotional shock to the system. You may feel confused, and not know what to do next. Below, we outline what to do when you have been served with divorce papers.
Find Legal Counsel
Divorce is an emotionally and financially frightening time in anyone’s life. Even for those that have filed for divorce, the unknowns can seem scary. While almost everyone in your life is somehow emotionally invested in your marriage, one person that can be objective yet dedicated is your divorce attorney. If you haven’t contacted a downriver divorce attorney, and you are getting ready to be divorced, you should do so today.
Your divorce attorney can help you work through the ‘mechanics’ of your divorce. A great lawyer will be able to understand your emotional state, yet also be skilled enough to help you stay focused on what matters most.
Preparation is key in surviving a divorce with your assets intact, and hiring the best attorney for you will help you be prepared for the next steps in the process.
Be Aware of Deadlines
As we said, divorce in Wayne County can be an emotional roller coaster. It is easy to let little details slip through the cracks. While your local divorce lawyer will guide you, it is important to make sure all deadlines outlined in your divorce papers are met.
The deadline to respond to the divorce papers should not be overlooked. Be sure to have your affairs in order and have your attorney assist you with the response. Failing to respond can lead to more headaches down the road.
As Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, either spouse can request a divorce at any time, without any given reason. While determining spousal support and child custody will take multiple factors into account, the divorce itself will not.
Inspect Your Finances
Most married couples have joint assets, such as their home. You may also have joint bank accounts, and it may be wise to do away with that. Be sure that your personal accounts are in good order.
While it may be tempting, do not try to ‘freeze’ your spouse out, or do anything out of anger or spite. This can complicate the road ahead. In addition, be sure to keep an eye on your personal spending. Make sure you have some money set aside to pay legal bills, and other costs that may arise (such as being ordered to pay temporary spousal support).
Keep Your Kids in Mind
If you have minor children, keeping them in the forefront of your mind is a good idea. By remaining as civil as possible, you will set a good example for them and also keep the process easier on you. Doing what is in the best interests of your children is always an important factor in a divorce, and will come into play during any custody hearing that may arise.
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