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Act fast if you are served with divorce papers in Florida

Has your spouse served you with divorce papers in Florida? Now is the time to inform yourself about the necessary next steps. Florida state law has a very specific timeline in which you must respond, and if you do not respect the procedure you could find yourself in difficulty.

Being served with any type of legal documents is a serious matter that you must not neglect. You must be attentive to deadlines and the precise legal procedures in the divorce process. Here is some information about what to do now that your spouse has served you with divorce papers.

Steps to take after being served with divorce

A spouse initiates divorce by filing a petition to begin the process of dissolving the marriage. This petition is part of the paperwork served to you when you are the receiving party. It will also include the court summons and other required pleadings. 

The next step required of you is to respond to the petition. This is not a straightforward process and takes time. State law requires that you file this response within 20 days of receiving the papers. That means you must not delay taking action to respond to the petition. If you do not respond, the courts may make a default judgment, which means you have no say in the decisions of the divorce. 

The legal process of divorce

Preparing a response to the petition is not something most people are particularly qualified to do on their own. There are also other deadlines that follow, along with other requirements of Florida state law, such as a parenting class if there are minor children in the family. The various steps can be confusing and missing a deadline or filing papers incorrectly can make a major impact on the outcome of your case.

If you have questions about how to proceed after someone serves you with divorce papers, it is likely in your best interest to have a consultation with a skilled divorce attorney. A lawyer can advise you about your rights and obligations under Florida law, as well as assist in guiding you towards an effective strategy for processing your divorce.

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  • The Florida Bar| Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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Meador & Johnson, P.A.
900 N. Palafox St
Pensacola, FL 32501

Toll Free: 800-785-4969
Phone: 850-483-0773
Fax: 850-435-8834
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