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What Should I Do if I've Been Served With Divorce Papers?

If you've been served with divorce papers, you may not know what you have to do next. Being served divorce papers, or filing and serving them upon your spouse, marks the beginning of a divorce case in Georgia. Once you have been served, you must take action soon in order to preserve your rights in the divorce. If you fail to take action in a timely manner, you may lose your rights to have a say in the divorce. It is advised you consult with an experienced Georgia family law attorney if you've been served and don't know how to proceed. The divorce process can be complex and requires a lot of effort on your part, as the respondent.   As a respondent, you need to respond to the divorce papers, typically including a petition and summons, your spouse served you or your divorce may become uncontested by default. This means that you may no longer have a say in the particulars of the divorce, such as custody and the division of assets. After consulting with an experienced family law attorney, you will either need to agree to what your spouse proposes, sign the papers, and return them, or, start drafting your response. You have 30 days from the date you were served in which to file your response. If you do not file a response by that date, the divorce could go into default and the judge can grant the divorce without your say being considered. Your response should answer any questions required of you, include any counterclaims you are making, and must be signed in front of a notary before being copied, filed, and served upon your spouse.   After you've filed your response, you will wait for your spouse, the petitioner, to take further action. You may have to attend a hearing or submit documentation to support your counterclaims. Contested divorces can be incredibly complex and may require the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. It is important to speak with an attorney before filing a response to ensure you have the best chance at having your requests granted. A hastily drafted response may not get you the outcome you deserve.   If you have been served with divorce papers, our skilled attorneys are here to help. Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. will work hard to protect your rights and ensure you take all the right steps in your divorce. Based in historic Roswell, GA, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law serves those across the greater Atlanta metropolitan area including Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, Johns Creek, Cumming and Sandy Springs. Contact our office today at (770) 993-5317 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Offering expert legal counsel in personal injury, criminal defense and family law, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law are here to help.