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The major mistake people often make when they’re served with divorce papers

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Divorce

Some people know that divorce is on the horizon because their relationship has taken a turn for the worse. They have had time to prepare themselves emotionally and even to look into Ohio’s divorce laws so that they know what to expect. Others feel genuine surprise and despair when they receive legal service from their spouse. They may have thought that the relationship was just going through a rough patch and would eventually improve.

The average person has a difficult time handling the intense emotions that accompany a sudden divorce filing. Particularly when the change to their family unit is a surprise, they may sink into a depression. Some people withdraw from personal relationships and even lose their jobs because they have a hard time functioning after they receive that initial service. Unfortunately, these individuals are at elevated risk of suffering a very specific major legal setback as their divorce moves forward.

People have to respond to divorce paperwork

The main issue that people encounter when depression takes over is an inability to handle challenges in a timely manner. They may procrastinate about contacting an attorney or even communicating with their spouses. People can delay for so long that they miss the opportunity to assert their rights.

In Ohio, someone facing divorce technically only has 28 days in which to respond to the initial filing. They need to counter the requests made by their spouse or risk having those terms ultimately determine what a judge orders for custody and property division. The person responding to a divorce filing must submit a counter proposal or file paperwork agreeing to the terms within 28 days of the initial filing. Otherwise, the courts may grant a divorce by default in which their spouse makes all of the major decisions. A divorce by default can leave someone in a difficult position with highly unfavorable terms for everything from support to property division.

Ultimately, working to overcome the initial inertia that many people experience after learning about a divorce in the near future can help them make use of the legal protections in place for the benefit of all Ohio residents.