Once you have made the decision to file a complaint in divorce and the complaint has been prepared, signed, and filed, the next step is to provide your spouse with a copy of the divorce complaint and required accompanying documents in one a few specific ways outlined under Pennsylvania Law.
Generally, before the Plaintiff in a divorce
case can proceed with finalizing the divorce
or dealing with economic claims within the divorce
, he or she must “Personally Serve” the defendant with the divorce
complaint, “Notice to Defend and Claim Rights,” counseling notice, and any other documents filed along with the Divorce
“Personal Service” is the technical term for the various required methods of providing these documents to your spouse. The first, most straightforward way to provide these documents to your spouse is to have any individual other than yourself who is over the age of eighteen (18) years hand the documents to your spouse. Most attorneys employ a professional process server to accomplish this but any individual over the age of eighteen can do so as long as they are willing to execute an “Affidavit of Service” specifying where and when they served the documents upon your spouse.
Most of our clients would rather have a professional serve their spouse at home or at work but for personal reasons some prefer to have a friend or family member do so.
Another legally acceptable way to serve the divorce
documents is to mail them to your spouse “Certified Mail Restricted Delivery” so that he or she must sign their signature to receive the documents from the letter carrier.
Yet another legally acceptable way to serve the documents upon your spouse is to ask him or her to sign what is called an “Acceptance of Service” form. This is a simple document acknowledging that he or she has been provided with the documents. Most Pennsylvania counties require that if your spouse signs an “Acceptance of Service”, you sign an “Affidavit of Signature” verifying that the signature on the “Acceptance of Service” is actually your spouse’s.
These are the most common methods of effecting “Personal Service” of divorce
documents upon the defendant in a divorce
case. Service is a crucial step in moving forward with any divorce
case. You should consult with an attorney in order to determine what method of service is best given your particular situation.
Our Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers Can Help
Call the Philadelphia divorce lawyers
at Sadek and Cooper today to schedule your free consultation at one of our convenient locations listed below to discuss this and other issues related to your existing or potential divorce