When your spouse serves you with divorce papers, it is your responsibility to respond to them. If you fail to respond, you are saying that you accept everything your spouse mentioned in the papers. This could keep you from getting certain assets or showing discrepancies in what your spouse entered as your income. These things can change what you pay for child support or alimony. Here are some tips for responding to the divorce papers.
Gather Financial Statements
The divorce papers should give a list of documents and paperwork you need to provide to the court in order to respond and file your set of divorce papers. This often starts with your financial statements. You need to tell the court how much money you and your spouse make. If you are the sole provider, this means gathering your pay stubs and other financial statements, whether you get income from a company you own, a traditional job with pay stubs, or your annual tax returns. If your spouse also works, try to find those records as well. Going through bank account deposits can also give you a good idea of what your income separate and together is.
Get Your Other Paperwork Together
You will also need to provide other paperwork to respond to the divorce papers. You will need to list assets and debts for yourself, your spouse, and those that belong to both of you. While your spouse will have already listed these assets, you need to verify the information. Gather your own records and receipts of your assets alone and what you purchased after getting married. If any information that your spouse has claimed is incorrect, you will need these documents to prove it.
File the Response On Time
Make sure you pay close attention to the date listed on the paperwork. Divorce papers do have a deadline for responding. If you fail to respond to the courts on time, you could lose out on certain benefits and might end up having to agree with whatever your spouse put on the divorce papers as far as your financial situation and assets go. When you receive the papers, it is a good idea to call a divorce attorney right away. Even if they don't represent you in divorce court, they can help you file the response and get the papers filed on time. If the divorce ends up being contested or leads to a custody battle, that attorney can help you.