If you have been divorced papers then your first call should be to a divorce attorney. You may be tempted to call your spouse in anger or sadness, or to call their family member or friends. The best possible thing you can do is to put your feelings aside and contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell at 909-482-1422. In the meantime, keep reading to find out about the four main options available to you.
- Do Nothing
- Do Nothing Because You Have a Notarized Agreement
- You Go to Court and File a Response and Enter into an Agreement
- You Go to Court to File a Response and Do Not Come Up with an Agreement
While it is technically an option to not respond at all, we do not recommend this. If you do decide to do this, then your spouse is likely to get everything they are asking for in the divorce. As the judge makes decisions about property division, debt division, custody, visitation, etc., you want to have a say. If you do not respond to the divorce petition, the divorce will be what’s known as a “default divorce” and you will waive your right to respond to or take part in the negotiations.
If you and your spouse have a notarized agreement in which you both agree to divorce, you have agreed on property division, debt division, spousal support, and child custody and support issues (if applicable) then you could also do nothing and get a “default divorce” as described above. The difference here is that you did have a say in the outcome because you worked on the written agreement.
By far one of the most common options, you may go to court and file a response but then work out an agreement with your spouse. This agreement would cover everything involved from assets to debts, from spousal support to child custody. This kind of divorce is often referred to as either an “uncontested” divorce or “collaborative” divorce because you are not fighting with your spouse – you are working together to find a fair agreement.
The fourth option is what’s known as a “contested divorce.” This is one in which you will respond by filing with the court saying that you do not agree with the requests included in your spouse’s petition. This type of divorce is contested because both sides cannot agree and a family court judge will have to make the tough decisions for them.
No matter how simple or complicated your case seems, it is always worth consulting with an attorney before taking action. Remember that you have 30 days to respond to the divorce. While you may be working with your spouse to find a fair result, make sure that you have someone unbiased who is looking out for your rights. That person can be Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell. Call us now at 909-482-1422 to set up a consultation.