In order to initiate your divorce proceedings, you must first serve your spouse with divorce papers. Depending on the circumstances between you two and your divorce matter, this may be difficult to complete. That is, you may need someone to serve them on your behalf. Read on to discover who is allowed to serve divorce papers in New Jersey and how a seasoned Somerset County divorce attorney at Siragusa Law Firm can help you in executing this.
Why do I have to serve my spouse with divorce papers?
You may think that it is excessive that your divorce papers must be hand-delivered to your spouse. However, the reasoning behind this is to ensure that your spouse is fully aware of your intentions to terminate your marriage. Plus, this allows them to contest the grounds for divorce or divorce-related terms noted in your petition for divorce.
How do I prove that I served my spouse with divorce papers?
Once your Summon and Complaint for Divorce are served, you must prove so by filing an Affidavit of Service with the New Jersey family law court. This will confirm that you properly petitioned for a divorce from your spouse by stating the following:
- The name of the person who served the papers.
- The name of your spouse who was served.
- The address of where the papers were served.
- The date on which the papers were served.
Who is allowed to serve divorce papers in the state of New Jersey?
As mentioned above, it is understandable if you do not want to be the person who serves your spouse with divorce papers. So, below are some individuals that you can legally employ to do so on your behalf:
- Your divorce attorney or their agent.
- The county sheriff of where your spouse resides.
- An adult who is appointed by the New Jersey family law court.
- A competent family member who lives with your spouse and who is over the age of 14.
- A competent adult who does not have an interest in your divorce action.
What if my spouse does not accept the divorce papers?
It is often seen that a spouse makes themselves hard to track down or is resistant to accept the divorce papers if they do not want a divorce in the first place. If this is your case, then you can legally serve them by registered or certified mail and in the following ways:
- Sending the papers to your spouse’s home address with a return receipt requested.
- Sending the papers to your spouse’s home address with postal instructions to deliver to only them.
- Sending the papers to your spouse’s place of business or employment.
- Sending the papers to an individual who is legally authorized to accept your spouse’s service (i.e., their attorney).
Importantly, you must make a reasonable and good-faith attempt of hand delivering the papers to them before you opt for mailing them. If you require legal services, contact a competent Somerset County family law attorney today.