Your doorbell rings. When you answer it, a stranger serves you papers. Your stomach drops. Whether you’re being served court or divorce papers, you’re now in a very stressful situation. What should you do? Read below to find out the first four steps you should take when you’ve been served.
- Pay attention
Immediately after you recover from the shock of being served, take a moment to jot down all the information that you remember. Write down who served you, what type of papers you were served, where you were, and even what time this happened.
Record all the details that you remember from your experience because this information could come in handy later. A certain protocol has to be followed when serving papers. If this protocol is not followed correctly, it means the papers have not been legally served. This can be a huge advantage for you and your lawyer.
- Contact your lawyer
Time is of the essence, particularly if you need to reply or counter-file. Right after you are served, contact your lawyer. Let them know all of the details of your event, so they can start to get an idea of the urgency of your situation and how to proceed.
- Read your papers
Although you may have read over your papers initially, the stress of the situation can alter your ability to read and retain what you’ve just read. After you have given yourself some time to calm down, take a moment to thoroughly read through your papers. Make note of any important dates that might be listed. Write down any questions you have for your lawyer and any rebuttals or counterpoints that you might think of while you’re reading.
- Respond appropriately
No matter what type of papers you’ve been served, there will be a clear course of action. Your papers will tell you whether you need to submit a written reply or appear in court. Communicate with your lawyer to ensure that you take the appropriate steps to respond in a timely manner.
Do You Need Legal Help?
At Aguilera Law Center, we help a variety of clients in Florida. Whether you have been served divorce papers, are being sued, or are charged with a crime; we are here for you. Our qualified attorneys are happy to answer any questions you may have about your papers or the paper-serving process. Contact us online or give us a call at 305-255-FIRM.