Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I just got served with paperwork. What do I do next?

If you are served with any legal pleading, your first step should be to read through the documents. The second thing to do is contact an experienced attorney for a consultation. Your next steps will depend on the type of pleading you were served. Inaction can result in a default judgment.

If you are served with a family law Petition (dissolution, parenting plan, child support modification, etc.) within the State of Washington, you have 20 days to file a "Response" to the Petition. If you were served outside the state, you have 60 days to file your "Response."

If you are served with a family law motion,  your response time will depend on the local rules of the court.

In drafting a Response to Petition or a response to a motion, it is best to have an experienced attorney draft these documents. Often, there are specific legal standards that must be met in a particular case. As the responsive party, it is your job to frame your arguments so that they meet the legal standard. It is often difficult to do this on your own.

So, when you get served with legal paperwork, read the pleadings and then call an attorney.

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Rachel Luke is a attorney in the Bellevue office of Wong Fleming. Ms. Luke practices family law and represents clients on divorces, custody issues, parenting plans, child support, and more.

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1 comment:

  1. The paperwork for my divorce is really confusing. It's helpful to have a few tips on what I need to do next, but I still have quite a few questions. I hope that a good family lawyer will be able to answer all of my questions as I'm filling out the paperwork.