Serving papers refers to the legal obligation to give other parties a notice that you have filed papers with the court and that these other parties could be impacted by your filings. By law, divorce papers (and other legal papers) have to be served in a specific manner, and proof of delivery must be submitted with the court to verify that this requirement has been satisfied.
Serving Divorce Papers in Arizona: The Options
When it’s time to serve divorce papers in Arizona, the options include:
- Service by acceptance, which involves giving or mailing the divorce papers to the other party. Typically, with service by acceptance, the other party will have to sign the Acceptance of Service form in front of a Notary Public (and then return the form to you) – after the divorce papers have been filed with the court. Signing the Acceptance of Service form simply indicates that one party admits to having received a copy of the papers that have been filed with the court.
- Service by a sheriff, in which a sheriff will serve the divorce papers to the other party. While this will involve the completion of a special form (and additional fees), it may be a good option when, for instance, there is a history of domestic violence in a marriage.
- Service by a registered process server, which involves retaining a registered process server to serve the divorce papers to the other party. Although this method of serving divorce papers can be more expensive, it may be a good option when people need extra help tracking down an ex (or when an ex may be particularly elusive to serve for any reason).
- Other methods of service – For instance, if a party to a divorce cannot be located to be served with the divorce papers, it may be possible to serve via publication. Other circumstances may present other ways for serving divorce papers as well, so it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney for more details pertaining to your situation.
Serving Divorce Papers: More Important Info
- A divorce case will not proceed until proof of service of divorce papers has been submitted to the court.
- There may be additional requirements for service if the other party lives out of state (so, again, consult an attorney for more specifics if this applies to you).
- Once divorce papers have been served, the served party will have the opportunity to respond to them (or “answer” the divorce complaint). The answer should detail what the other party wants in the divorce, and this can indicate how contentious the upcoming divorce proceedings may end up being.
Scottsdale Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau
Are you ready to file for divorce and serve your ex with divorce papers? Or do you need help resolving any family law matter? If so, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau of the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-467-3435 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page
From her offices based in Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.