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I was served with summons with notice, what should I do next?

New York, NY |

My wife filed for divorce and I was served with summons with notice. Is by contacting her lawyer considered that I respond within the 20 days period, or am I suppose to do it through the court?

Attorney Answers 9


  1. Best answer

    Formally, you must file a Notice of Appearance with the court, serve a copy on the opposing attorney and file an affidavit of service with the court that same has been served on the attorney. Some information on divorce cases may be found here: http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/index.shtml. You're best advised to schedule a consultation with a NYC Divorce attorney.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.


  2. You need to serve an Answer and you should hire a matrimonial lawyer.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. You need to serve an answer on her attorney and the court. I really recommend you hire an attorney to do it rather than rely on advice from this forum.


  4. Contacting the attorney alone is not a response. You will need to file a Notice of Appearance with the court and serve the Notice on your wife's attorney. Here is sample http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms/otherfms_ntcappanddemand.pdf.

    Please note that this general response to your inquiry does not establish an attorney-client relationship.You should consult with a competent attorney for advice regarding your particular situation.


  5. You should hire an attorney to file a Notice of Appearance - and move through the process.

    Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer could be considered attorney advertising.


  6. Telephone call won't do it. You need to file a notice of appearance with the court and send that to your wife's attorney. If you were served with just a summon with notice and no complaint you should demand the complaint. If you were served with the complaint you need to answer. You would best be served by retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney.


  7. Get a lawyer fast. The summons with notice must be responded through the opponent's counsel. It should be challenged because you don't want to lose most of what you own.

    Be smart. Watch out. Good luck.


  8. You need to file a "Notice of Appearance" with the court and affirm that you served that Notice on the other lawyer. Preserve your rights by filing your appearance with the court but don't be afraid to see whether the lawyer might be drafting a proposal to resolve the case. You should hire a lawyer - if you know that the other lawyer is drafting an agreement, tell that to whomever you hire.


  9. You should contact an attorney to enter their notice of appearance and affirm with the court that you were served. The attorney can also assist you with the proposal and the process of the divorce to ensure your rights are protected.

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