Whats the process for serving my spouse in a divorce is a question many people have. The divorce process is difficult enough without having to face procedural problems like service of process. Sometimes something as easy as serving the divorce petition can derail the case. If you serve it the wrong way you risk having the case dismissed forcing you to pay additional fees.
Serving The Initial Divorce or Custody Petition
After the divorce or custody papers have been drafted and filed they must be served on the other party. This also includes any other filings including motions to modify, paternity or other post decree petitions. The purpose of service is to give the other parent proper notice that a legal matter is now pending before the court. If proper notice isn’t given the Court will dismiss the case and make you start all over again.
How The Divorce or Custody Petition is Served
Once the petition is filed with the Court it gets a file stamp. The petition comes with a mutual restraining order and perhaps other documents depending on the particular case being filed. When the case is filed you’ll also get a summons to show up to court. It sets out the date, time and the location of the court that’s hearing the case.
Methods of Service
You have choices for how to serve the documents. The easy way is to send a first class file stamped copy to the other person. The notice should go first class restricted delivery with a return receipt.
Another method is to serve it through a process server. This cost a little more but is best when the other person is making their whereabouts difficult to find. When the process server effects service they send us a verification that the person was served and the time and place they were served at.
Service of Process by Publication
If those options are not successful, the filing party asks the judge for approval to attempt service through alternative means.
One alternative means is service by publication. To attempt service by publication, the filing parent must show the court that even after due diligence, service can’t be made. If publication is allowed the notice must be given in a newspaper authorized by law to publish legal notices. The notice is published in the county where the petition was filed for one (1) day a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.
Finally, as a last resort, if service can’t be made by personal delivery or by mail, then the you can ask the court if service can be provided in any manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. Which means service can be made through e-mail, leaving a note on the other parent’s door, or sending notice through non-certified mail.
Family Law Attorney Near You
Serving my spouse the divorce petition doesn’t have to be so hard. At the Family Lawyers Group our Tulsa Family Law Attorneys have helped countless families through the Divorce and Child Custody process. If you have questions regarding Serving My Spouse The Divorce Petition and would like a Free legal consultation call 918-742-3555 or send me an email