What to do if you are served with divorce papers?
What to do if you are served with divorce papers? The first, thing you should do is you should know that you have 20 days to respond. Therefore, you should begin looking for a qualified divorce attorney as soon as possible. The divorce attorney should explain the process, your obligations and your spouse’s obligations during a consultation.
For optimum results it is recommended to hire a board certified marital and family lawyer since they have achieved the highest recommendations from other lawyers and judges and they principally practice only in divorce. Second, you should begin gathering all your financial documents such as bank statements, credit card statements, current loan statements and any documents pertaining to your finances. If you do not have access to financial information when you are served with divorce papers, do not fear, Florida law requires both spouses to turn over financial documents within 45 days after you are served with divorce papers. The requirement to turn over financial documents is called “Mandatory Disclosures.” This is one of the obligations that the potential divorce lawyer should discuss with you during your consultation. The third thing that is important to know if you are served with divorce papers is that in most if not every county in Florida, a status quo order goes into effect in your case immediately. What is a status quo order?
Attached is the Miami Dade Status Quo Order
. Each county has their own and they do vary. However, a simple explanation of a status quo order is the Courts do not want any major changes financially or that pertain to the children after you are served with divorce papers. For example, they do not want you to liquidate all your investments and transfer them offshore, terminate utilities or take your child to live in another state or country. There are obvious reasons why the status quo orders are in effect since the courts have had experience with all of these scenarios in divorces over the years.