You Were Served Papers: What’s the Next Move With Your Bellevue Divorce Attorney?

May 5, 2022

When you go through with the step of marriage, it’s supposed to be for life. You make a promise to the other person to remain by their side, regardless of how difficult the situation becomes, without fail. This works on both sides of the coin, and one party should be just as dedicated as the other. Nobody ever pictures themselves needing a Bellevue divorce attorney.

Picture yourself in the following situation:

You’ve been married for several years; maybe you’re approaching the decade mark. Just like with any other marriage, things were great for the first couple of years.

You get a home together and settle into your chosen careers, and as with any other situation, life happens. Stressful situations arise, the bills pile up, and things get tough.

Because of all the external stress, a strain is placed on your relationship like never before. Maybe you refrain from being intimate, and you begin to give one another the cold shoulder.

Ask a Bellevue divorce attorney, and they’ll tell you they’ve heard the story a thousand times before:

Maybe you’ve been arguing a lot more than usual, and things have gotten particularly rough. You’re barely speaking to each other; you might even sleep in separate bedrooms.

The thought of divorce may have forced its way into your mind once or twice – you never entertain the thought because you said your vows, right? But you can’t help but fear the scenario because you still love each other at the end of the day. Well, you didn’t realize these sentiments were no longer shared.

You’re at work one day, and suddenly, your spouse shows up. You’re pleasantly surprised, thinking maybe they want to begin to work things out. After all, you’ve been married for nearly ten years, and these things happen, right? You’re glad they decided to work through it, though.

However, as they approach your desk, they pull a stack of papers tucked underneath their arm and place it gently in front of you. It’s divorce papers, and suddenly you feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks.

Obviously, a Bellevue divorce attorney must be contacted, but you can’t even think straight. What’s your first move, and how do you handle this situation? Where do you go from here?

What Happens After You Receive Your Divorce Papers?

Don’t panic! The first thing you need is some time to digest what has happened and how it has affected your life.

Take a few minutes to yourself, call a friend for support, and talk to someone who can help guide you through this difficult time (such as a Bellevue divorce attorney). You may also want to get in touch with a therapist if needed. Don’t be afraid of asking questions; talking things out helps clear up confusion about your next steps. If necessary, reach out to your spouse’s Bellevue divorce attorney.


The most common reason people are given divorces is irreconcilable differences. This means that even though there was love between the two of you at one point, over time, those issues got so big they couldn’t work together anymore.

Many times, when couples separate, emotions run high. It’s not uncommon for friends and family members to feel hurt and angry on behalf of either party. When this happens, it’s easy to take these feelings personally and think “they” did something wrong instead of considering why their marriage failed.

Your job now is to make sure you understand exactly what went wrong within your relationship, whether your fault or your spouse’s. Sometimes, knowing what led to the separation will clarify you during this transition period. Your Bellevue divorce attorney can also be a source of strength or comfort.

While you’re sorting through all these thoughts, don’t forget to focus on figuring out where you stand legally and financially. Even if you aren’t able to save your marriage, getting a handle on both areas will allow you to move forward more smoothly than trying to juggle them simultaneously.

If possible, try to meet with your spouse privately before meeting with any Bellevue divorce attorneys or signing legal documents. Getting answers from him/her might provide valuable insight into what he/she wants moving forward.

Can You Salvage?

Obviously, your spouse didn’t decide to talk to you about divorce if the situation happens, as it’s told earlier in the article. Honestly, this is how it often takes place.

Besides the legal jargon contained in the divorce filings, ask them what really went wrong. Find out if it was something you could have done better or if time just took its toll and the relationship lost its luster.

Remind them that you two have over a decade married and if there’s any chance the two of you can fix it. Don’t be pushy, but just try and get some answer and find out if the situation can be talked out.

After all, if the situation was a surprise, there was obviously no dialogue or consideration of a divorce before Bellevue divorce attorney papers blindsided you.

Also, consider telling other close loved ones ahead of time so they’ll have time to prepare themselves too. Remember, once everything starts happening, it moves quickly, and everyone is emotional, making it harder to remember specific details.

When you sit down with your spouse, listen carefully without interrupting. Ask open-ended questions such as “what would you like me to do?” or “how should I proceed?”

Keep an eye on your tone because you never know how explosive the situation can become. Be careful not to insinuate blame toward anyone else but yourself at first. During this conversation, try to stay calm and avoid saying anything negative about your ex or others involved.

Avoid making promises unless you absolutely intend to keep them. Your goal here is to learn how your spouse feels about saving your marriage rather than engaging in finger-pointing. After hearing what he/she wants, ask again if you understood correctly. Then go back to listening.

Once you understand what your spouse wishes for moving forward, decide together how best to address each issue. For example, if money plays a significant role in the disagreement, discuss options to create financial security.

Or perhaps your partner thinks children play a key part in keeping marriages intact while you believe otherwise. Talk openly about how you plan to deal with children if you are still young, and dividing responsibilities fairly becomes important. Again, listen closely without interruption until you fully understand what your spouse needs.

Deciding On a Bellevue Divorce Attorney

After taking stock of your situation and discussing your concerns with your spouse, figure out who you’d like to represent you going forward.

In many cases, hiring a Bellevue divorce attorney or another lawyer appropriate to your area is mandatory. Hiring a good divorce lawyer is crucial because it protects your rights and interests.

A skilled attorney knows the law well and understands the nuances of family law proceedings. He/she has dealt with similar situations countless times and probably already has experience handling divorces involving complex assets and personal property.

An attorney can advise you throughout every step of the process, including negotiating agreements, drafting terms related to child custody, visitation, spousal support, division of marital debt, and much more. Having representation goes above and beyond protecting your legal rights, ensuring you receive fair compensation for any losses incurred, and guiding you through post-divorce processes, which often involve lengthy paperwork and court appearances.

According to advice from Bellevue divorce attorneys, here are some insider tips regarding the initial stages of the divorce process:

  • Document everything. This can’t be stressed enough. It may seem nefarious at first, but document EVERYTHING. If you believe indiscretion was involved, you might even document the conversations you have. If the divorce becomes a hostile situation, you’re going to need all of the documented evidence you can proving that you weren’t the reason for the divorce. Otherwise, you could be forced to pay for things and provide alimony when it’s not warranted.
  • Remain civil if possible. Any Bellevue divorce attorney will tell you the ugliest divorce situations happen as a result of things going south when emotions are running high. It’s difficult to remain grounded in times of intense emotion, but you must find it within yourself to remain collected. The last thing you want is to get on each other’s bad sides and end up going to war in court.
  • This brings us to our final tip – always try and settle as much as you can outside of court. There are several reasons for this. First, the more you have to go to court to settle things, the more money it’s going to cost. Court fees and Bellevue divorce attorney fees can add up quickly. Finally, when you leave it in the hands of a judge to decide who gets what, the situation is usually far from fair. The worst feeling in the world is when your hard-earned items and assets are in the hands of a stranger.


Divorcing isn’t easy, especially for kids. But while painful, the worst-case scenario is rarely as bad as we fear. Most of us know our parents’ stories…a nasty fight followed by years of resentment and regret. That same fate doesn’t always have to happen. With proper guidance and planning, however long it takes, you can end your marriage painlessly and leave behind lasting memories of happy occasions and new beginnings.

Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation From an Experienced Bellevue Divorce Attorney

When these situations arise, you need a Bellevue divorce attorney that can get you through the situation with minimal damage. We know how to handle delicate issues like this, and we’ll fight to get you a fair outcome. Contact Aberdeen Law Firm today for a Bellevue divorce attorney to address any questions or family law concerns.

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