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Responding to divorce papers you did not want to receive

Being served with divorce papers is very rarely a pleasant experience. This is especially true in cases where the decision to divorce is not mutual. Sometimes, one spouse decides that remaining a part of his or her marriage is not the healthiest option, even if the other spouse does not agree with this assessment. Receiving divorce papers that you do not want and did not ask for can be a truly trying life event.

Your first instinct may be to shred, burn, bury or ignore your unwanted divorce papers. However, it is important that you respond to them with a sense of urgency. It is completely normal to want to avoid an unwanted divorce process. However, your future wellbeing and financial stability may depend on your ability to face this situation head-on.

It is generally a good idea to hire an attorney as soon as you can after receiving divorce papers. You will likely need to interview a few candidates before you find one who is a good fit, and this process can take time. The sooner you can connect with an attorney who shares your vision for the process ahead, the sooner that you and your attorney can craft a plan of action.

Failure to connect with an attorney and respond to your divorce papers could lead to some truly negative consequences. You could end up with an unfair property division settlement or a child custody arrangement that does not serve the best interests of your child or children. You may not want to deal with your unwanted divorce papers. But it is ultimately very important that you do so anyway.

Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Things to Do If You Want a Divorce But Your Husband Doesn't,” Cheryl and Joe Dillon, Oct. 15, 2014

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