Divorce proceedings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. It involves time, energy, money, and the strength to endure emotional strain — and that’s with the help of a reputable divorce attorney already.
Amidst the custody battles and separation of properties, there’s one element of the process divorcees do not often pay attention to: the actual serving of divorce papers for the defense.
With mutual parties, this shouldn’t be a problem; the lack of conflict results in a simple and straightforward process. But in high conflict divorces, the defendant refuses to go through the divorce, insisting they want to “work things out.”
So, what do you do?
What the Defendant Needs to Know
According to most of Albuquerque’s family law practices, successfully serving the defendant requires information of the following:
- What the case is about
- The next step of defense
- Whether there's a need for a court hearing
- Time and date of trial
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As you go through the service process, do not forget to obtain Proof of Service for the court to gain jurisdiction. You need to get a proof of service signature from the private server or a sheriff on your behalf. Acceptance signatures from the defending party also work.
Legal Methods to Serve Divorce Papers
Most courts allow serving divorce papers for any of the following methods (some of them, however, may require court approval):
- Service by mail. Sends necessary documentation through mail; the individual mailing the papers should not be a party in the case.
- Personal service. Delivery of documents in person.
- Substituted service. If mail methods and personal service fail, this is the last resort.
Sheriffs: Godsends to Serving Spouses
If the defendant is still not willing, the element of surprise is always helpful — especially with the help of a sheriff. Public settings are one of the best ways to catch defendants off-guard. Hiring a sheriff adds a level of emphasis on the need for them to accept the service.
Divorce papers are just the beginnings of proceedings; still, it’s an important step. Do not let an uncooperative spouse get in the way of setting things in motion and moving on with your life.