Serving Divorce Papers: How to Do It?
Posted on 18th August 2022 at 12:33
To be divorced, you must file documents with a judge, whether you use mediation or go straight to court. Although you may not want anything to do with your soon-to-be-ex, the law compels you to tell your spouse about the divorce case through the service papers.
Every court requires spouses who file for divorce to furnish the other spouse with copies of all documents filed in court. Each court has rules about when and how papers must be delivered. Service of papers, refers to providing the documents as required by law. Courts need a serving process to ensure that both spouses are aware of the divorce case and have an opportunity to reply to and participate in the proceedings.
You must serve your spouse with a copy of the Summons, Complaint, and Notice of Initial Hearing correctly. You, not the court, are responsible for serving your spouse.
The documents can be served in three ways:
Hand-delivery with a certificate of service.
Certified mail with return receipt
Regular mail with a written acknowledgement from the Defendant
There are alternative ways to serve the documents, but you must first obtain authorization from the court.
A "disinterested individual" must serve the papers. This includes anyone who is not a party to the lawsuit, is uninterested in the result, and is at least 18 years old. The paperwork cannot be served on family members or significant others (boyfriends/girlfriends). You can have a neutral individual serve the paperwork or pay the sheriff or a private process agency, such as CCS Nationwide, to do it.
If you cannot locate or serve the Defendant, you must show the courts you have done everything possible to identify your spouse and serve them in person.
However, if the Defendant refuses to serve or cannot be found, you have two options:
Request Alternate Service. You can do this if you have the address for the subject and it is confirmed, but they are refusing service, or ignoring any attempts at the address. You can also do this if you can contact the Defendant but do not have an address: You can request authorization to serve through alternative means, such as email, social media, texting the papers, etc. If the judge grants you alternate service, you must submit the papers by every means specified by the judge on order.
Attempt to trace the subject. If you are unable to locate Defendant, request publication: If you have had no communication with Defendant and have no idea where to find them, the judge expects you to do everything necessary to locate them. Contact friends, family members, employers, coworkers, or anybody else who might know where Defendant is. Look for your spouse on social networking sites and by email. You may also look for forwarding information at the Post Office. Check with any source that can point you toward an appropriate address for your spouse. This is referred to as "due diligence." The judge will want to see that you used every available route to find Defendant. You can contact CCS Nationwide to help you locate your spouse.
If you cannot locate your spouse, you may request that the summons be published in a newspaper instead. You may also be required to transmit the paperwork to a last known address if one exists. You will be required to disclose all of your efforts to find your spouse.
If you need CCS Nationwide to help with serving divorce papers, or locating the current address of a spouse, please get in touch with us today at email@example.com
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