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I’ve Been Served With Divorce Papers – Now What?

Many divorces are started in January.  If you have just been served with divorce papers (in New York called either a “Summons With Notice” or a “Summons” and a “Complaint”), then this is what you need to know.

First, the “Summons With Notice” or a “Summons” combined with a “Complaint” is the formal and legal way of informing you that your spouse wants a divorce. Those documents will also state (or should state) what your spouse is seeking (e.g., child support, spousal maintenance).  However, these requests (which in legal terms are called a “demand”) will be very general in nature.  For example, if there are children involved, it will probably state something like this: “Awarding Plaintiff custody of the children”.

Second, the “Clock is ticking”, this means that in New York, you typically have twenty (20) days to formally respond to the Summons. What you should do is immediately search for a divorce attorney.  You do not want to wait until your time runs out. Once, you have determined which attorney you want to hire, your attorney will respond to the Summons.

Third, although your attorney will respond to the Summons, you will stay have some work to do.  Your attorney will guide you through the process, but you will need to obtain financial documents and provide your attorney with the facts and documents of your case.

Fourth, if you feel overwhelmed, seek out professional mental health.  Although, receiving the divorce papers may be a shock, most likely you knew that your marriage was failing.  However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, sad or depressed, it is important to speak to a mental health professional.

When served with divorce papers, the important thing to remember is not to panic.  Your divorce attorney will help you through the legal process.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. know that receiving divorce papers can be disconcerting.  David Badanes has the experience to help you through the process and to make sure that you are protected.  Contact David Badanes today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com to schedule a free consultation. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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