I’ve Been Served with Divorce Papers in Bucks County. What Should I Do Next?
Some people are honestly surprised when they receive a divorce complaint. Ideally, this is not you because everyone should be prepared for a significant change in their life, no matter what it might be. This is an important step, but far from the final one, in your divorce journey.
After you have gathered yourself, call us at (215) 752-6200. We have helped thousands of people just like you get through this process as quickly and as painlessly as possible, given their situations. Our Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., attorneys know the law, court procedures, and what you are going through.
Take Precautions If You Fear for Your Safety
Pre-divorce relationships run the spectrum. A couple could still deeply, genuinely care about each other but understand their marriage is no longer right for them. A couple might also be unable to stand the sight of each other, and one person, if not both, may engage in physical and emotional abuse. Your marriage may be somewhere in between.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you need to protect yourself and your children (if you have them). You should plan on contingencies if this turning point becomes an excuse for violence by your spouse.
It may be a good sign if your abusive spouse starts the divorce process. Some do not want their marriage ever to end because they want someone to control and torment the rest of their lives. If they want a divorce, this dire situation will end.
Protect Your Financial Resources
Part of divorce is the equitable division of marital property. Your debts and assets will be split as a result of an agreement or a trial. The outcome should be fair to you. But that might not be the case if a trial does not go your way, which is one reason most divorce cases resolve through a negotiated settlement.
You are financially vulnerable if you have bank or investment accounts in both names because your spouse may empty them. Depending on the account, you should withdraw half of the money and set up new ones for yourself.
Non-marital or personal assets are not subject to division. If you have financial resources that your spouse had nothing to do with (you had them before your marriage or inherited them) but you are both listed as the account holders, withdraw the money and put them in new accounts. If the same is true for your spouse (there are joint accounts with assets that belong to them), you should take the high road and leave them alone.
You do not know what the final division of the marital property will be. At least some money you are moving around may end up with your spouse, so now is not the time for a spending spree. Just the opposite – you should save up for expenses that come with divorce (some you can plan for, others may be unexpected).
The Beginning of the End and a Start of Something New
The divorce filing will not surprise most couples because their relationship has broken down, and they can discuss their marriage’s end. If you are surprised, communications with your spouse have probably gone off the rails. You should try to reach out to them and calmly talk about what they want.
A divorce will end your marriage, but it will start a new and probably better part of your life. Divorce can be a problem when stressful and challenging, but it will not be if the spouses act and make decisions like mature adults. A divorce is also an opportunity to do something new and better with your life.
Experienced Divorce Attorneys Who Want to Help
Work with an experienced Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., family law attorney. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of New Jersey and Pennsylvania law and how the courts work. We can help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Call us at (215) 752-6200 or book a consultation online now.