• Slide_9
  • Slide_1
  • Slide_2
  • Slide_3
  • Slide_4
  • Slide_5
  • Slide_6
  • Slide_7
  • Slide_8
Call us at: (505) 881-2566
2727 San Pedro NE • Suite 114 • Albuquerque, NM 87110

FAQs – Just Got Served?

I was just served with court papers – what do I do now?

Take a DEEP breath. Do it again. Find a quiet place, sit down, and read through the papers once to look for the date and time of any court hearing or deadline to file an Answer or responsive pleading. Then read through all the paperwork slowly and try to understand the gist of the legal language. Write down questions you have. Don’t feel stupid if you’re unable to comprehend everything. Lawyers went to school for many years and use their own language.

I got served with divorce papers – what do they mean?

If your spouse filed for divorce, then the process server (person who handed you the papers) most likely handed you the following separate court pleadings:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Summons (tells you that you have 30 days to file an Answer or other responsive pleading)
  • Temporary Domestic Order (this is not the same thing as a domestic violence restraining order)

Sometimes additional pleadings are served with the initial petition such as a Motion for Temporary Orders (seeking to set up a temporary child custody and visitation schedule and/or to allocate income and expenses while the case is pending). Sometimes discovery requests (Interrogatories and Requests for Production) get served with the petition.

The initial paperwork means the case has just started. It does not mean you are actually divorced. The Petition is a list of general things your spouse is asking the judge to award him / her. The Summons starts the clock for you to file an Answer and tell the judge what you want in general. The Temporary Domestic Order says neither of you will start selling stuff, run away with the kids, etc.

Are the dates and deadlines on the papers I was served with important to follow?

Yes they are and you should schedule an appointment with an attorney as soon as possible. The deadlines are taken seriously. If you don’t file an Answer or responsive pleading within 30 days of being served, the court can enter a default judgment against you, giving your spouse what s/he wants. Waiting to the last minute to hire an attorney may leave you without a lawyer willing to represent you. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer to represent you, at least consult with one and get advice on how to fill out “pro se” papers for you to Answer the petition and to explain the general process.

Man hands with wedding ring

I got served with a Restraining Order – what do I do now?

Technically called a “Temporary Order for Protection Against Domestic Abuse and Order to Appear”, most people simply call it a Domestic Violence (DV) Restraining Order or an Order of Protection. This is a request by someone who alleges s/he is a victim of domestic abuse or violence committed by you. The Temporary Order for Protection is issued based on the allegations in the application for restraining order, which is only one side of the story. Judges usually err on the side of safety and issue the order. Once you are served, do NOT call, text, email or try to talk to the person. Do not attempt to communicate with the person in any way, including having friends or family act on your behalf.

Be sure to attend the hearing. The date, time and location of the hearing is in the Order to Appear. You will have the opportunity to tell your side of the story at the hearing. Do NOT fail to show up for the hearing, even if the other side says she change her mind and will “drop” the case. This may be a trick. If you show up in court and the other side doesn’t, the judge will either dismiss the case or reschedule the hearing. Either way, you need to know what’s going on and have the opportunity to defend yourself.

We help families solve problems

Request for Information

I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.
2017-03-31T16:04:38+00:00
I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could...
2017-03-31T16:22:11+00:00
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could have imagined.  I never once felt that you were working without my best interests in mind and contrary to my ex-husband’s experience, the expenses incurred were reasonable and fair, and I believe you were diligent about not incurring additional costs unless they were absolutely necessary.   A.N.

The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when...
2017-04-03T10:55:47+00:00
The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when I just couldn’t find the strength to open emails because it was so painful to read has defined a new beginning for me.  I am back in NM and I will never look back thinking that he got the best of me, because you kept your promise to me and because I am doing it; I am living life again!D.A. D.A.

Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional,...
2017-04-03T10:56:15+00:00
Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional, reliable and honest. I found that at NM Divorce & Custody and can’t express how fortunate I felt to have had Mary Ann Burmester’s representation in what I thought was going to be a quick divorce. Mary Ann is sharp, knowledgeable and honest. She gave me recommendations that I felt comfortable in taking and I never felt her representation didn’t have my best interests in mind. Mary Ann was an excellent advocate when my husband’s lawyer was requesting things from me that were completely unnecessary and had no purpose other than escalating expenses. She and her team were on top of things from day one, leaving me no doubt I’d made the right choice. I’d recommend them to absolutely anyone. A.B.

I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in...
2017-04-03T10:56:42+00:00
I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in my life, your team made me feel supported not just legally but with your concern. Ms. Burmester is an amazing women and attorney her and your firm have my highest recommendation!!   C.S.