Many people feel blindsided when their spouse has them served with divorce paperwork. Although some couples discuss the potential end of their marriage in the near future, it is quite common for one spouse to make the decision to file for divorce without truly discussing their choice with their partner.
There are many reasons that people defer that difficult conversation, including fearing for their own safety. Unfortunately, when you don’t anticipate your spouse filing for divorce, it can come as a painful shock. Some people make mistakes after receiving divorce paperwork from their spouse that will continue to affect their personal or financial situation for years after the divorce.
What mistakes do you need to actively avoid after unexpectedly receiving divorce paperwork in Indiana?
Don’t ignore the papers
The single biggest and most common mistake people make when served with divorce paperwork is that they fail to acknowledge reality. They don’t want their marriage is to end, so they simply ignore the paperwork, hoping everything will go back to normal.
However, spouses in Indiana must respond to a divorce filing to challenge the suggestions made by the person who filed. If you don’t respond, your spouse can receive a default judgment in their favor, which might mean that they get everything they requested from the courts.
Don’t just sign the paperwork either
Ignoring the paperwork is as dangerous as simply agreeing to whatever demands your spouse makes regarding property division, support and child custody. Their proposed solutions almost inevitably include terms that are more favorable for them than for you so that there is room for you to negotiate.
Rather than just accepting their demands to get things over with as quickly as possible, you need to carefully review the paperwork, ideally with your own lawyer, so that you understand their suggestions and can determine if signing the paperwork would be acceptable. You need to learn about equitable distribution rules and other state standards that govern divorce proceedings.
Don’t let your emotions run the show
People surprised by divorce paperwork may become angry and aggressive toward their spouse. They might make a public display of their feelings, which could hurt their reputation and their case in court. Those going through divorce typically need to find a way to process and express their emotions in a healthy manner so that they can make rational decisions regarding the divorce process.
For most people facing divorce in Indiana, the right professional help can make a big difference. Making sense of Indiana’s divorce laws and learning from the mistakes that other people have made before you will protect you during the end of your marriage.