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What to do when served?

Many people today are aware at a basic level of what being served is. Often dramatized in Hollywood movies or on the small screen, we can all picture someone being served legal papers by a legal professional. It is challenging however to know what this means for the people involved. Below you will learn some of the basic steps that come when a legal summons is served.

What is “Being Served”?

The first step in a legal process is filing a formal compliant with the local governing body. This compliant then triggers a legal action where the parties whom have been accused of the offense are sent legal notification via service of process papers. This is what is commonly known as “being served”. This legal action typically gives the person who has received the papers anywhere from 20 to 30 days to respond to the compliant or legal action will proceed without their involvement.

What Does it Mean if You are Served?

The experience of being served legal papers can be extremely challenging. One moment your world is set the way you like it and then in another moment it is totally changed. Often you receive a flood of emotions all at once. You may think immediately about the anger you feel towards your spouse or business partner. Perhaps you are full of sadness as you think about how your relationship came to this point. Thoughts of worry, doubt, or concern and a flurry of other emotions will be present in the days and weeks to come after being served.

It is critical that after you have taken the first few days to process your new situation to make a point to focus your energy on the due date posted on the legal summons. You need be sure that you have a prepared legal response before the date posted on the paperwork. If you do not respond in time, then the courts may rule on the compliant without your participation.

What are Your Options After “Being Served”?

Your next course of action after you are aware of the date is to decide how you want to proceed legally. Some people will choose to represent themselves while others will hire an experienced attorney to help them through this trying time. If you choose to hire an attorney you need to be thorough in your review of the attorneys to represent you but also act quickly as each day that passes is a day closer to the due date posted on the paperwork you were served.  

Another important piece to consider in this time is how the finances will handled if the legal compliant is a divorce. It may be wise to conduct a quick survey of your financial affairs and separate any joint accounts that you have previously shared with your spouse. By making a clean line in your financial assets you are able to make sure your money stays with you during the legal proceeding.

Being served divorce papers or another type of legal complainant is an extremely challenging process and one not to be taken lightly. It is important that you have the support that you need during this time to make sound decisions regarding yourself, your marriage, your business interests, your children and your financial future. If you need n Gig Harbor business attorney or a firm that specializes in custody or divorce law consider Andrews & Arbenz. We are proud to serve the residents of the Pierce County by helping them with their business, estate planning or divorce needs. Consider contacting us today so that we can help you in your legal situation.