Saturday, August 4, 2012

I just got served with a divorce summons - do I need a lawyer?

Many potential clients come into my office with this question.  First, the time to respond to a summons is generally 20 days, so at the very least it pays to set-up a consultation with a Family Law attorney.  Second, whether you ultimately need to retain an attorney depends on your particular situation.  For instance, do you have children?  If so, have the issues of custody, visitation & support been fully resolved by a prior court order or agreement?  If no, one would need to be done - which means you'd generally need a lawyer.  Do you have a need for spousal support?  Many spouses who come into my office do not know whether they qualify or what they're entitled to.  Finally, many aren't sure about the assets their spouse may have.  One should never consent to an uncontested (& thus should refuse to sign an "affidavit of defendant" until same has been confirmed.

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