Today I'll be giving some tips on what to do when you are served with divorce papers. I know it can be very alarming to have the sheriff show up at your door, but the first thing is, don't freak out in front of the sheriff. Don't overreact to the sheriff, he's just delivering papers.
The second thing is, don't immediately reach out to your spouse in anger. Just take a couple of deep breaths. Don't put the children in the middle of it. If they ask you what happened, just tell them it is some business that mommy or daddy needs to take care of.
Then you need to really start thinking about what you need to do. The most important thing is that you need to file an answer within 30 days. That answer lets the court know that you are present. It prevents your spouse from getting a hearing without having to provide you notice. So, the most important thing is to file your answer.
If you need an attorney to help you with filing that answer, I've done a separate video/blog on some of the things that you should consider. But you need to act pretty quickly because that answer needs to be filed within 30 days.
You may need to file a counter claim, counter claiming for divorce. Or you may want to file a motion to dismiss if it's improper jurisdiction. And you obviously want to list any kind of defenses that you have regarding any of the allegations within the complaint.
But the most important thing is to get that answer filed within 30 days, to take a deep breath, not to overreact.
I hope this helped. If you think it can help someone else, please share. And if you'd like more information on divorce and family law in Georgia, please subscribe to my channel.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355