Be Proactive in the Days Following Being Served Divorce Papers

It has been a busy day at work, and after pulling into the driveway, you can see that some papers have been posted on the front door. The kids are tugging at your briefcase and you promptly pull off the papers. All you can do is rush the kids to their game room and take a deep breath to find out what the documents are all about.

Sadly, they show that you have just been served divorce papers. Many separated couples experience this big moment, sometimes as a surprise or as a long time coming. The divorce petition will show what type of divorce your soon-to-be-ex is wanting. Read the standing order very carefully as it will outline what the court expects. Be sure to keep the original document in a safe place, and make copies if you want to jot down notes.

Starting a divorce journal and calendar can also be helpful as you face the proceedings head on. Write down any questions and important notes and facts that have occurred. Also, make note on the calendar any important deadlines and what you do in the course of a week for the kids. Many summons set a deadline of 20 days to answer and an individual must file an answer in the court file prior to that deadline. Otherwise, your soon-to-be ex could file for a default in the divorce case.

Be sure that the divorce petition also has a case management order; immediately call the clerk’s office if you did not receive one to make sure a court date and any hearing notices are set.

Getting an experienced family law attorney on your side early on will dramatically help your case. Some divorces can be resolved quickly, but others can take a year or more. A divorce lawyer will be your personal advocate and assist with paperwork, the overwhelming emotions, and best plan for the next chapter of your life.

Osenton Law Offices, P.A. assist clients in a wide array of legal issues including divorce, child custody, alimony, visitation and time sharing agreements, and modifications. Their lead Brandon family lawyer, Laurel A. Tesmer, Esq., is experienced in helping individuals and families through the tough times of a divorce. Even amicable divorces involve a flurry of documents and hearings, so it takes competent legal counsel even if you are just in the initial stages of a divorce.

O. Reginald (“Reggie”) Osenton is the Owner and President of Osenton Law Offices, P.A. If you need a Brandon bankruptcy lawyer, Tampa bankruptcy lawyer, or Tampa bankruptcy attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit