My Wife Filed For Divorce, What Should I Do Next?
September 27, 2021
Divorce is emotionally draining for all men. Unfortunately, some men experience so much guilt and despair about divorce that they give in to every demand their wife or their divorce attorney makes, no matter how ridiculous. Thus, if your wife filed for divorce first, it means she has been planning to do so for a while and she has a solid plan of what she wants from your marriage. Although you may be shocked, this isn’t the time to surrender. If your wife filed for divorce and you are wondering what you should do next, contact the attorneys at Brighter Day℠ Law.
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What Should I Do After My Wife Filed for Divorce?
At Brighter Day℠ Law, our Colorado Springs, CO, divorce attorneys for men are dedicated to helping men like you. We have helped thousands of husbands blindsided by wives, and we can help you get a favorable outcome.
Divorce cases aren’t decided based on who files first. However, still, the person who files first gets a few benefits. It’s essential you understand that by filing first, your wife has started a series of deadlines, which you must meet. She a solid plan in place, so you need to play a little to catch up.
While you might not have known your wife was contemplating filing for divorce until you were served, it’s likely she has been planning this for a long time. This also means she has a divorce attorney for a while now. Her divorce lawyer’s legal team has carefully prepared her Petition and other motions and court filling. She has had enough time to evaluate your marital assets and work out what she wants to keep after your marriage is over. Thus, it’s essential to speak with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible to learn your legal options and protect your rights.
By filing first, your wife has started the divorce process and set the process on her time table. Your wife was able to prepare her motion and choose when to file the divorce with the family law court. You don’t have the same luxury of time because together with her petition, you were also served a Summons. The Summons sets forth the deadline by which you must file a Response to Petition.
If you wish to contest any of the terms in her Petition, you must file your response on time. Your wife’s Petition and your Response act as the framework for the entire divorce process. Thus, you must prepare a Response that includes all the key issues that are vital to you. A skilled divorce lawyer can prepare a solid Response by the deadline.
By filing her divorce petition first, your wife might have caught you by surprise. You went from being a father and husband to fighting in court for everything that’s important in your life. You might feel you need to catch up with her at this point. So you need to hire an experienced family lawyer to beat the clock.
What Happens After Your Spouse is Served with Divorce Papers?
After you’re served with divorce papers, you have two options. You can choose to ignore the filing; however, the divorce case will proceed by default. This means a family court judge will probably grant whatever request your spouse makes regarding the division of marital property and debt, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Alternatively, you can file a response with the court.
Colorado allows for grounds for divorce, such as adultery, physical cruelty, or abandonment. Your response can also propose a different allocation of marital property and debts, or address issues, such as child custody, child support, and alimony.
In some states, a person can file for divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or irreconcilable differences. If one spouse believes the marriage can’t be repaired under “no-fault” grounds, the other spouse’s opinion on the matter is of no consequence.
What Happens at Divorce Final Hearing?
Before you attend your divorce hearing, you must meet with your divorce lawyer. Your divorce attorney will explain the divorce process to you.
Your divorce lawyer will review the pending pleadings with you, review the exhibits with you, explain the divorce procedures during the court hearing, explain what to expect during your direct examination, explain and discuss how the final ruling is entered.
Before the final hearing begins, the court will swear you in. During the swearing-in process, you’ll pledge to tell the truth at the final hearing.
If you agree to divorce terms and have a partial settlement agreement, you won’t need to discuss the terms included in the agreement. The family law court judge only hears testimony on issues you and your spouse can’t agree on.
In family law cases that include minor children, the family law court will determine how much child support each party should pay or receive. Colorado has child support statutes that ensure every child has an adequate standard for emotional and financial support from both parents. Child support comes as money paid by the parent without custody of the child’s custodial parent.
Child custody also known as legal decision-making and parenting time is determined in the best interests of the child. The family law court will hear evidence on child custody to determine the parenting time schedule and legal decision-making designation.
Alimony, often referred to as spousal maintenance, is ordered in an amount and for a period of time that the court deems just. The alimony statute in Colorado doesn’t provide a formula for figuring the amount of alimony that the family law court may award you or your spouse. Instead, the family court judge looks at several factors, including the financial situation of both parents and the length of the marriage.
Alimony is the reason most spouses go to a divorce trial in family court. Because an award of spousal support is determined after the court considers certain factors and this family law matter is heavily litigated. Thus, it’s in your best interest to hire a skilled divorce attorney for legal advice if you’re asking for alimony or if your spouse is asking for spousal maintenance.
Can You Get a Divorce if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?
When your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, you’ll need to get what’s called a contested divorce. To file for a contested divorce, the spouse who wishes to get a divorce must file a petition in the family court in the jurisdiction.
Only the party who is filing for the divorce must sign. However, the spouse requesting the divorce must formally notify the other party of their legal action by serving the divorce papers. During a divorce situation, serving the other party with the divorce papers means the other party is notified that their spouse has filed for divorce and given a chance to appear in court. The sheriff or a private process server can serve the divorce papers.
If you’re filing for divorce or in the process of negotiating, the experienced family law attorneys at Brighter Day℠ Law can help make sure you’re protected throughout the entire process.
Contact Our Experienced Family Law Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
No matter the circumstance of your divorce case, our Colorado Springs family law team is ready to offer you the same excellent service we offer to all of our clients.
If you are researching divorce lawyers for men in Colorado Springs or dealing with other family law issues, don’t face it alone. Contact an experienced legal professional that can help you through the divorce process. To schedule an initial consultation, call our family law firm at 719-733-9129, or chat with us online to learn how we can help you.