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Were You Served With a Summons for Divorce? Call Me!


As a divorce attorney and psychologically trained mediator for over 35 years, I receive calls all the time from frantic spouses saying, “I’ve been served with a summons for divorce, what do I do?”

I first tell them to breathe! Then I guide them with the following information:

I explain they have been formally put on notice that their spouse has filed a petition for divorce. I also ask them to look at the summons and complaint to see what their spouse is asking for, e.g., spousal support, child support, distribution of assets, division of property, visitation, and so on.

Second, I tell them that when you are properly served, a clock starts in court. In every state, there is a limit to the amount of time you have to file an answer to your spouse's divorce summons. The number of days you have varies from state to state. However, in every state, the countdown begins the day you are served with your divorce papers. In New York State it is 20 days.

Third, I tell them not to be afraid. There is help and there are a few ways to respond.

My role as a divorce attorney and psychologically trained mediator is to be legally informative and emotionally supportive in a sad and difficult time. My role is to pave the path to productive discussions amidst a flurry of very high emotions and to help a spouse make the right decisions.

If you are served with a summons, I suggest you do the following:

  1. Speak with a divorce attorney/mediator right away. Find out what your rights are, and what you are entitled to.
  2. Consider negotiation or mediation as an alternative if possible. Mediation is less stressful, not adversarial, more manageable, amicable, cost effective and less time consuming.
  3. Acknowledge your emotions! They will range from tears, to anger, to wanting revenge. It’s okay to feel sad and hurt!
  4. Don’t try to hold on to someone who wants out. You don’t need to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. Consider speaking with a therapist as well! You deserve much better.Hire a divorce attorney/mediator who feels right to you, someone you connect with and who will guide, support, and fight for you and your family.

Struggling relationships often end in divorce because the couple has stopped trying and drifted apart. Feelings are ignored and more often than not, one spouse wants to stay, while the other spouse wants to go.

When a spouse decides to end a marriage, they have often made this decision in response to their needs not being met, a breakdown in communication, or simply not wanting to be married any longer.

If you get served with a summons, call me!

I will be happy to speak with you and walk you through your options.

Divorce doesn’t have to be so painful, divisive or expensive!

Having successfully served NYC for over 35 years as an experienced New York divorce attorney and medically trained mediator, I can tell you a divorce with less pain is possible.

Even though you have been served with a summons, negotiation and even mediation in some cases is possible. Litigation may not be your only path.

Call me to schedule a free consultation. 212.734.1551.

All our FREE CONSULTATIONS are still available virtually.

If you are served with a summons, call me first!

I, along with my team of amazing experts will provide you with comprehensive support throughout the process!

Warm regards,


New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner is available to help you with your divorce!

Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.

If you have been served with a summons, call Lois Brenner first!

Call 212.734.1551