Tips for when you are served divorce papers
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Tips for when you are served divorce papers


I’ve been served divorce papers. So what do I do now?

As with nearly all major events of life, there are specific steps to follow in order to complete a divorce in Rhode Island. So, whether you are just seeking a “no fault” divorce, citing irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or seeking a contested dissolution for other reasons, the course of events tend to follow a complicated but certain routine.

First, the proceedings begin with one spouse engaging an attorney to review all possible issues. This also includes whether the couple is even eligible to divorce under the law. Once you make the determination, you will then draft the appropriate legal documents and file them with the court. Next, you must then legally served the papers on the other spouse. That spouse then faces the need to respond.

Steps in response when served divorce papers

State laws vary on what’s required in response after you’ve been served divorce papers. In Rhode Island, the deadline is usually about 20 days, and the response should include:

  • Acknowledgment of document service
  • And a statement of your agreement or disagreement with the complaint

Also, the response should make your position clear on the statements made in the original petition. It should also reflect your view on the proposals made regarding such things as property division and spousal support.

If children are a factor, the response should speak to the issues of custody and visitation. For example, if the initial petition calls for the petitioner to have sole physical custody, you might find it important to ask for joint custody. You will want to detail reasons that support use of that model. However, it’s important to always keep in mind that the courts will consider such matters in the context of what it considers the best interests of the child.

Failing to respond after being served divorce papers

If you don’t respond at all, the courts may then rule that grounds are sufficient to grant your spouse a no fault divorce.

Divorce by its very nature is complicating financially, emotionally and legally. Navigating the process, as a result, is easier with experienced counsel at your side.

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Every divorce can be painful in its own way, but the right divorce lawyer can help ensure that you feel prepared for this difficult process. Careful and considerate guidance is imperative throughout the entirety of the divorce process. Attorney Don Moyer provides the care and attention you deserve. Let our RI divorce lawyers give you the backing you need for your Rhode Island divorce.



Nothing is more important that your children. You look out for their best interest, and you deserve a custody lawyer who will fight for your parental rights. Child custody can be the most contentious issue in any family court action. Attorney Don Moyer has the experience you need to protect your parental rights. Let our RI child custody lawyer help secure the custody resolution best for you.



There are many family law issues that military persons or their families must deal with differently than anyone else. Ensure you are protected by contacting a lawyer who understands the complexity military service may impart on your family or divorce matter. Attorney Don Moyer has served in the armed forces, and has over 20 years experience effectively representing military families.

All Family


Moyer Law, PC handles all types of divorce and family law cases in Rhode Island, including:

> Divorce

> Alimony

> Interstate Child Relocation

> Adoption

> DCYF Matters

> Pre/Post-Nuptial Agreements

> Restraining Orders


Divorce and family law cases are often wrought with emotional turmoil and interpersonal conflict. Cases like these also come with high stakes, making it essential for anyone dealing with a family or divorce law matter to seek counsel from a qualified legal professional. When you are involved in one of these cases, you need a trustworthy RI divorce attorney like Don Moyer on your side to help you see it through.

Compassionate, Competent Representation from Start to Finish

Moyer Law, PC understands how difficult it can be being involved in a family law dispute. Whether you are divorcing your spouse after a turbulent marriage or seeking custody of your child, Moyer Law, PC providences experienced divorce and family law representation throughout Rhode Island. Our staff is also here to explain how the law applies in your case, helping you make the best choices every step of the way.

If you are dealing with a divorce or family law issue in the Rhode Island, Moyer Law, PC can help. Contact us for more information regarding costs, services, or to schedule a consultation with our RI divorce lawyer. Call now (401) 461-7800.


RI Divorce Lawyer - Warwick Divorce Lawyer Rhode Island

Don Moyer is a Rhode Island attorney who focuses his practice on family and divorce law. He obtained his legal education at Roger Williams University School of Law. Don’s undergraduate degree is in Finance and Business Administration. His finance degree is a critical benefit to clients litigating any issues relating to real estate, retirement division, hidden assets, support, or any variety of other financial issues.

Don also spent a number of years in the U.S. Army Infantry, including spending a year in the Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary region of Europe in a special operations unit in the immediate aftermath of the Bosnian conflict in 1996-97.

Don has over 21 years of experience litigating and mediating divorce and family law cases in Rhode Island.

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