Divorces can be complicated. Not only are you ending a marriage with your partner, but you also have assets to divide, perhaps child custody arrangements, child support, and maybe even alimony to settle. Trying to grasp the entire process at once can make it appear overwhelming. It could prove helpful to divide the divorce into steps and proceed step by step. One of the important initial stages consists of serving the divorce papers to your partner. Which may be accomplished a number of ways.
- Serve it in person. If the divorce is relatively amicable, it may be easiest to serve your partner with the divorce papers by yourself. The spouse will need to sign the Acceptance of Service document, stating that the papers were received. You will then need to return the Acceptance of Service to the court along with any other appropriate documentation.
- Employ a third party to serve the papers. In instances of a more hostile divorce, it may be beneficial to hire a server or sheriff to serve the papers. If your spouse was abusive for example, your attorney may have advised you to leave your residence immediately for safety purposes. If you filed a police report after the abuse, the prosecutor’s office will determine whether or not criminal charges will be pursued. However, your attorney may advise you to press civil charges as well to compensate for any damages incurred as a result of the abuse. However hostile the situation is, it will likely be in your best interest to avoid seeing the abusive partner; in which case, hiring a third party to serve divorce papers may provide some relief.
- Serve via publication. When other avenues of serving have failed, you may be advised to place an ad in the newspaper local to your spouse’s residence; the ad should notify the spouse of the divorce. The ad must be published every day for a given length of time. The court may request a copy of the notice and a statement from the newspaper for date verification purposes.
Above are a few common methods to serve divorce papers. Though it can be as simple as handing the papers to your spouse directly, there are other options for more hostile situations for which you won’t have to visit your spouse in person. In cases of domestic abuse, this can prove especially helpful. There are many steps involved in a divorce, thankfully, help is available. Contact a family law attorney, like a divorce lawyer in Lake Forest, IL from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC, who specializes in divorce. The attorney should be able to provide advice and guidance through the stages of a divorce.