The doorbell rings. You open the door and hear the words, “You’ve been served.” Your spouse has filed for divorce, which you never saw coming. You wonder what, exactly, you should do at this moment?
Divorce is never easy. Knowing what steps to take immediately after being served can help make the process less overwhelming.
What to do next
The first thing you need to do is read through all of the papers. Make notes if you have questions or don’t understand something. Once you’ve read the papers thoroughly, you’ll need to do the following:
Respond to the court before the deadline set forth in the papers. Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you or your spouse simply has to claim that your marriage is irretrievably broken. There may be several other questions that you need to answer in order to be included in all court proceedings. Missing this deadline could result in the court awarding your spouse a default judgment.
Once you have responded to the court, start gathering all of the information you can find about your household expenses, bank statements, assets, and anything else that demonstrates your current financial situation. This information will be used to determine how assets will be split, as well as whether or not you will receive alimony and child support.
If you have children you will need to explain the situation to them in terms they can understand. Try not to cast blame on your spouse. Remember that the children love both of you and need to feel that they are safe.
When you are served with divorce papers, it can be very upsetting. It’s important that you get in touch with an experienced legal guide as soon as possible.