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What to Do When Served Divorce Papers in Utah?

What Does Being Served Divorce Papers Mean?

what to do when served divorce papers

Being served with divorce papers simply means being presented a notice of separation from a spouse filing a complaint with the court. The divorce papers will contain a summons and a complaint. Complaints are the reasons submitted by the spouse stating why he or she wants the divorce. The court summons is a legal document that asserts the power of the court to hear/ resolve the case, and it will contain required court appearances. The divorce documents you are served may also contain temporary papers for things such as temporary child support, alimony, and child custody arrangements.

Utah Divorce Service Deadlines

After being served divorce papers, the foremost issue to note is your timeline for putting everything together needed to reply to the divorce service. The deadline for response is indicated on the divorce papers. The time frames for formulating a response can vary depending on the laws of the state of residence. Generally speaking, you have 21 days to file an answer, and those residing outside Utah have 30 days.

What If I Don’t Respond to Served Divorce Papers or Miss My Deadline?

Failing to respond to any court order is a very bad idea! If you do not file a response to the summons with the court, in the allotted amount of time, you should note that the court proceeding will continue with or without your presence. If you do not respond or fail to appear in court, the divorce will be considered uncontested and the judge will likely grant all of your ex’s requests. Then as required by the law, a copy of the verdict will be sent to you once the divorce has been finalized. If you want to have a say in the divorce proceedings, do not ignore the documents. If you miss your deadline, be sure to contact the court as soon as possible.

Get Organized

Being served divorce papers is likely an emotional experience, especially if it came as a surprise. It is recommended to take the first week to talk to friends, counselors, church leaders, or family in order to build up a support network to deal with the emotional side of things. Once you’ve got that in check, it’s time to start gathering up important documents needed to file a response.

Documents needed during a divorce may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tax Documents
  • Birth Certificates
  • Separation Agreements
  • Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements
  • Pension/ Retirement Documents
  • Mortgage
  • Loan/ Credit Card Statements Showing Debts
  • Bills for Utilities
  • Doctor/ School Notes
  • Health & Life Insurance Documents
  • Automobile Title/ Registration Documents

Find Experienced Legal Representation to File a Response with the Utah Court

Next, you want to enlist the help of an experienced Utah divorce attorney to help you file a response to the divorce papers. Even if you can’t afford an attorney for the entire duration of your divorce, it is advisable to at least take advantage of a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case with a professional. It is recommended to meet with several divorce attorneys to see which one fits your specific needs best. One of the biggest mistakes made in divorces, is that people hire the first attorney they come across.
Divorce in Military Families
The laws vary when either spouse, or both of them, are active members of the military, and special rules apply under the Service Members Civil Relief Act. Take note of the fact that the state handles the division of military pensions. The federal law says that the state where the military member resides is mandated to divide the military pension in a divorce. If not done in the state of residence, the state might not have this power. Therefore take note of the state as you file your divorce case.

Utah Divorce Attorney Free Consultation

Being served divorce papers doesn’t have to be the end of the world. By taking swift, calculated actions the Law Office of David Pedrazas can help set you up for the most favorable result possible. Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to an attorney, complete the form on this page to schedule a FREE no-obligation, 30 minute case review today!

Read 6 Tips When Served Divorce Papers