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What happens after you are served divorce papers?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Divorce |

Many married Texas couples end up seeing themselves in the divorce court. If you were served papers by your spouse, it might have thrown you for a loop. Here is what you should do after being served divorce papers.

What’s included in the divorce papers?

A divorce petition is filed by one spouse in family court. When a person decides they want to end their marriage, the divorce papers are then served to their spouse to notify them and begin the process of the divorce.

The divorce papers include a variety of information such as the following:

• Names and addresses of the spouses
• The date and place where the marriage took place
• Names of children the marriage produced
• An acknowledgment by the filer that they or both they and their spouse lived in the state for a specific period of time before filing
• The grounds for divorce
• An explanation or request on how the petitioner wants property division, child custody and visitation, finances, and other matters settled

There may also be temporary orders included in the petition. Orders may involve child custody, visitation and support, spousal support and other financial matters, and who will live in the marital home.

What should you do after being served divorce papers?

When you are served divorce papers, you will have to thoroughly read the petition and respond. You can choose to agree or disagree with the terms included in the petition. Another option is to not answer at all. However, if you don’t answer, it’s assumed that you agree with the divorce and all the terms in the petition. Failing to answer is counted as a default, which means you will not get to argue against anything included in the divorce papers.

If you’ve been served divorce papers, it’s best to respond. It gives you the chance to have your voice heard and dispute what you believe is unfair.