My Spouse Is Avoiding Being Served – What Can I Do?

  • Posted on: Aug 31 2018
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When you want a divorce, but your spouse does not or is intent on making the process as long and as difficult as possible just to spite you, they may do their best to dodge being served the divorce paperwork. They believe that if they’re never served, the divorce simply won’t happen. They may think that avoiding the paperwork will give them time to change your mind or will leave you so frustrated that you simply give up and get back together with them. A contested divorce is rarely easy, but it’s much worse when you feel like you’re in limbo because the court date is pushed back several times due to your spouse not being served. So what can you do if this happens?

Personal Service Is the First Option

Serving your spouse in person is the preferred method, and it makes it very difficult for your spouse to claim they didn’t know about the divorce or the court date. That’s why someone will be sent to serve the papers at first. Fortunately, there are several other methods that the court can order if your spouse avoids being served several times in a row. In some cases, a professional service company will be employed. These experts will often wait at a person’s home until they arrive, have the person identify themselves, and then serve them. Even if your spouse refuses to take the paperwork, many states consider them served if the paperwork is left on the porch or other area once your spouse has identified themselves.

Substituted Service Options

Substituted service options vary from state to state and among jurisdictions. Some states consider a person served if the papers are mailed to their address, especially if they’re sent certified mail and the person has to sign. Others allow for someone the defendant lives with to accept the papers on their behalf as long as they’re over the age of 18. Some even consider a person served if the papers are left on their front door or at their work. Some courts even allow publishing the summons in the newspaper as a method of substituted service, although generally it’s considered the last resort.

If your spouse is avoiding your divorce summons or you need some assistance in preparing for what you know will be a long, contested divorce, we’re here to help. Contact the FK Law Group today to talk to us about your case.

Posted in: Divorce Law, Family Law, Marriage Annulment, Prenuptial Agreements, Uncategorized, Uncontested Divorce