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Importance of reacting correctly when served with papers

When Virginia parents whose marriages are coming to an end are served with family court documents relating to child custody issues, they often feel a combination of anger and shock. Some people react in a way that can seriously hurt their positions in their cases.

People should avoid reacting angrily. With child custody and visitation matters, doing so can seriously harm their position in court. Often, these types of messages are used as evidence against people in their cases. Instead, they should take the time to read through the court documents carefully. Even if the papers contain inflammatory statements, they should refrain from acting out of anger.

Another major mistake people sometimes make is simply ignoring the paperwork and not responding to it at all. When people do this, they may have a default judgment entered in their cases. Courts give a certain time period within which those who have been served must respond. If they don't, then the court may simply grant everything the petitioner has requested in the case, including issues involving property division, child custody, support and visitation.

People may want to get help from a family law attorney after they have been served with divorce and child custody papers. An attorney may provide advice regarding the best way in which to react. The respondents may want to take a step back so they don't react in a manner that will hurt their case. A lawyer may be an important buffer, helping clients to view their cases logically and then proceeding to negotiate comprehensive settlement agreements that address the applicable divorce legal issues.

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