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Petition for Divorce Paper

The First 72 Hours After Serving/Being Served Divorce Papers 

Middle Tennessee Family Law Oct. 17, 2022

Matters of domestic relationships – such as divorce – are often sensitive and require thoughtful consideration when dealing with them. The first 72 hours after being served with or serving divorce papers can be highly emotional and confusing to sort through. In order to avoid making irrevocable mistakes, getting proper guidance from an experienced Tennessee family law attorney is imperative. 

At Middle Tennessee Family Law, we are committed to offering personalized legal counsel and reliable advocacy to clients in family law and divorce-related matters. Our skilled attorneys are available to discuss your unique circumstances and enlighten you about the next steps to take after serving or being served with the divorce papers. We’re proud to serve individuals and families across Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee, including Murfreesboro and Nashville. 

First 72 Hours After Being Served/Serving Divorce Papers 

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional experience. Fortunately, knowing what to do can make your divorce proceedings feel more manageable. Here’s what to do during the first 72 hours after serving or being served with the divorce papers: 

Hire an Attorney 

Hiring a knowledgeable divorce attorney is the first step toward a successful marital dissolution. Your attorney can help evaluate your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your available divorce options. Also, your legal counsel can educate you about the residency requirements and divorce grounds in the state, determine the type of divorce that is right for you, and help settle other divorce matters – including asset division, alimony, and parenting plan. 

Serve or Review Divorce Papers 

Upon filing your divorce petition in Tennessee, you will have to notify your estranged partner. This is referred to as “serving” your spouse. If you’re seeking a divorce, you can serve the divorce papers to your spouse: 

  • By using a private process server. 

  • Through the sheriff's department in your county. 

  • By sending the summons through the mail.            

Conversely, if you’re being served with the divorce, you need to consult with your divorce attorney immediately. Your legal counsel will properly review the papers and respond to the divorce petition or make a counterclaim. Most importantly, ensure that you seek divorce counseling and support. 

Protect Your Assets 

Asset division remains a crucial aspect of every Tennessee divorce case. Carefully identify and protect your assets, finances, and accounts. This may require taking a detailed asset inventory comprising every property you own separately or together with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Also, cancel all joint accounts, and change your personal passwords. 

Gather Necessary Documentation 

Additionally, collect the necessary information from your estranged spouse, and document every record. These include individual information, marital history, proof of residency, employment records, and information about your children. Also, ensure that you make extra copies of all important documents and records that contain your personal information. 

Explore Your Options 

Dealing with divorce requires careful consideration. Hence, take time to review your divorce options with an attorney. These include uncontested divorce, contested divorce, and divorce mediation. Your attorney can enlighten you about the benefits, drawbacks, and requirements of each divorce option. 

Determine Living Situation 

You may need to decide on the living situation before your divorce is finalized. Your available living options while your divorce proceedings are ongoing include: 

  • Continue living in the marital home with your estranged partner. 

  • Vacate the marital home to avoid hostilities and for your comfort. 

  • Bird-nesting. 

  • Sell the property and divide the equity. 

  • Buy out your estranged partner. 

  • Refinance the mortgage in your name. 

However, there is a short timeframe to serve or respond to divorce papers. Therefore, it is important that you take immediate action. Be sure to retain an experienced Tennessee divorce lawyer to advocate for your best interests and guide you through the divorce proceedings. 

How Middle Tennessee Family Law Can Help 

A divorce can have a significant long-term impact on different aspects of your life, including your family, children, finances, assets, and future relationships. With several misleading information out there about the divorce process, it is easier to make costly errors without experienced guidance. Therefore, when going through a divorce, it is important that you speak with a trusted family law attorney for reliable advocacy and to enlighten you about your available options. 

At Middle Tennessee Family Law, we have the diligence, expertise, and resources to advise and guide individuals and families through the complexities of divorce proceedings. Whether you are serving or have just been served with divorce papers, our attorney can walk you through every step and help you navigate crucial decisions. We will fight compassionately for your legal rights, work diligently with all parties to settle divorce matters amicably, and help make your transition as smooth as possible. 

Contact Middle Tennessee Family Law today to schedule a simple consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Our dedicated lawyer can offer you the reliable legal guidance, assistance, and advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your divorce case. Our firm is proud to serve clients across Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee including Murfreesboro and Nashville.