Were you recently served divorce papers? Did it feel as though news of your marriage’s demise came out of the blue? Maybe you and your spouse had been having some problems, but you thought you had gotten past the issues. Now, you are staring at divorce papers and don’t know what you should do next. If that’s the case, you aren’t alone. A lot of people feel blindsided by the delivery of divorce paperwork.
The Initial Feeling
When you receive those divorce papers, you will go through many emotions, and you’re likely to go through the stages of grief. If you had no idea that your marriage was in trouble, it will come as a massive surprise. It will feel surreal because you weren’t expecting it to happen.
You may also start to feel betrayed when you start to realize that your spouse obviously had time to think about getting a divorce for some time before they filed the paperwork. They were already planning it without you realizing it. You might feel hurt and that if you had known there was trouble, you could have done something.
However, you should take some solace in knowing that if it’s gotten to the point that someone wants to file for divorce, going through with it will likely be the best option for both of you. It might not be what you wanted out of life, but it’s a reality you now have to face. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fight the divorce if it’s what your spouse wants. That’s no good for anyone. You were served divorce papers, now it’s time to find a way to face it head on and overcome.
Once you get over the initial shock and feeling of betrayal, it’s time that you started to get things organized. You don’t have the time to sit and lick your wounds and worry about how you feel, at least not yet. You need to make sure that you know the steps you need to take next.
Respond to the Divorce Filing
When you are first served divorce papers, you have the option of responding or not. If you don’t do anything and don’t respond, the court will go through with the divorce after a certain period of time elapses. This might be the easiest thing to do, but it’s not often the best thing to do.
The paperwork you receive includes the demands of your spouse. If you don’t answer with your own rebuttals to those demands, the court will assume that you agree with what your spouse wants in the divorce. This is going to put you at a major disadvantage because you won’t have any say in what happens in your divorce.
According to the law, you will have 20 days to respond once you receive your divorce papers. If you are not living in Arizona at the time when you receive those papers, you will have 30 days.
What’s the best thing to do? When you receive the divorce paperwork, your best option is to consult with an attorney. Even if you feel that you will want to represent yourself and that you might not need an attorney, it’s better to at least have a consultation. This can help you understand more about your situation and what you need to do next.
You might not want to hire an attorney full-time for your case, but you can hire them when you need to have certain things handled. This could help you to keep the cost of your divorce down, but still give you access to legal help and advice when needed.
Get Your Life In Order
When you are getting a divorce, it means you are going to be undergoing a lot of changes. This includes changes in where you live and how you budget your money. One or both of you will have to move out of the marital home. You have to make sure that you have a new place to stay whether you are renting an apartment or studio, or you are living with a friend or family for a little while.
You have to rethink how you are spending and ensure that it will work with your new budget. After all, there will no longer be two incomes. Make sure your finances are in order, and that they are protected from your spouse during the divorce. Yes, you need to split your assets and debts, but you don’t want your ex running up a lot of debt on credit cards, etc. before the divorce is complete because it could mean you owe that money too.
Don’t Let the Divorce Affect Other Parts of Your Life
Don’t ignore the paperwork, but don’t let it get you completely down either. Yes, divorce is going to be a major change, and it may be one that you find unwelcome. However, if you aren’t careful, you could end up causing yourself more harm. some people make financial mistakes when they are getting divorced. They are upset, so they turn to shopping and buying things they don’t need as a means to make themselves feel better.
Others might start drinking or taking drugs to cope with the divorce. Again, this is not going to help you in the long run. All it will do is give you a small amount of numbness for a short period. Stay healthy. Keep away from drugs and booze, eat right, and get exercise. It will help to reduce your stress, and you really will start to feel better about things.
You may want to give yourself something of a break, too. This doesn’t mean you need to take a vacation—although you could if you have the funds for it. It simply means that you need to take a break from blaming yourself for the divorce. Even if you feel that it was your fault, continuing to blame yourself is not going to change things or make them better.
Instead, you need to forgive yourself. Divorce happens to a large number of people today. It doesn’t carry the same type of stigma that it did in the past. You can and will move on with your life, being served divorce papers is a decree to start your life fresh.