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Why it’s dangerous to ignore service of divorce papers

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Divorce

Many people know that their marriage hasn’t been perfect but expect to work things out with their spouse. Those who get served with divorce documents in Florida often feel shocked. Intense emotional reactions often follow legal service, ranging from anger to depression. Particularly when someone’s spouse suddenly moves out of the home or restricts their access to their children, they may have a very difficult time responding appropriately to the divorce filing.

Some people don’t know what to do, so they do nothing at all. Choosing to ignore service with divorce paperwork could potentially be one of the biggest mistakes that a person could make.

The divorce will move forward without a response

What many people fail to realize about the divorce process in Florida is that it does not necessarily require the active involvement of both spouses. Provided that the spouse who files can prove they properly served the other, they can ask the courts to move forward with the divorce if there is no response filed.

Typically, this person served with divorce paperwork has 20 days from the date of service to counter their spouse’s requests. Someone can suggest alternate terms for time-sharing arrangements and property division. Otherwise, the person who filed the paperwork can ask the courts to move forward with a default judgment that may grant them all of the terms they requested.

People generally need to review divorce paperwork with an attorney after thinking about their situation to effectively propose what they think would be fair for parenting and asset division terms. The first step forward towards this progress, however, is overcoming whatever is keeping an individual from feeling like they can respond to the service of divorce papers.