Perhaps you and your spouse had discussed the possibility of divorce, but neither one of you made a legal move. Now, however, you have been served with divorce papers in Florida and are wondering about the next steps.
It is critical that you make your first moves in the most expedient way possible. While you do not want to rush your decision-making, you also need to understand the clock starts ticking once you receive the divorce papers, so you do not have any extra time to waste. The divorce process begins now.
First steps after getting served
Whether you were expecting the papers or not, you must not spend too much time immobilized by the shock of the situation. It will take time for you to emotionally process everything that is happening, but in the meantime, you must take action and select a family law attorney to represent you.
You have 20 days to respond from the time you receive the divorce petition. This does not leave a lot of time for delay. Consider that your family law attorney needs preparation time in order to respond to the petition. So you certainly do not want to wait until the last minute – or worse, ignore the papers.
Factors to consider when choosing an attorney
Selecting an attorney to handle your divorce is an important decision you should not take lightly. One of the first things you should consider is the type of attorney you hire. Search specifically for an attorney who takes on family law cases. Family law attorneys have the necessary experience to handle the specifics of a divorce case. If you have children, ask your potential attorney about his or her approach to children in divorce. You should look for someone who makes the children’s best interests a priority and works to minimize conflict so as to reduce the negative impact of the divorce on your children.
Although getting served with divorce papers can come as a great shock, you must make all efforts to remain cool-headed and move forward in a rational and objective way. The decisions you make now will affect your future, so do not underestimate the importance of your choices.