Why Personal Service is Essential in a Child Custody Case
If you are involved in a child custody case, you certainly understand the emotional nature of it. Among many of the steps you will take throughout this process, one of the first will be to serve your child’s other parent with papers. While this seems relatively straightforward, it can become complicated, especially if you cannot locate your ex.
Serving Your Ex Custody Papers
When you open a custody case, a copy of the complaint and summons will have to be hand-delivered to your ex, which is known as the “service of process.” It falls upon you to ensure your child’s other parent is served. The court will not provide this service for you. Moreover, you must serve these papers within 120 days after filing the complaint and/or well before the mediation or court date. Otherwise, your case may be continued or dismissed and you will have to begin the process all over again. If you do not believe you can meet this deadline, you can ask the court to extend it.
Only a disinterested party can serve papers to your former spouse. Therefore, anyone involved in the case or connected to you, such as a family member or a new partner, cannot do this for you. A professional process server must do this for you. A judge will not move forward unless service is done and proved to the court with a proof of service.
Your ex can be served anywhere, whether it be home, work, or another location. Additionally, whoever serves papers must also complete an Affidavit of Service, which will state where, when, and what documents were served.
If you cannot locate your former spouse, you must do everything you can to do so, including reaching out to co-workers, family members, employers, or anyone else who may be in contact with your ex. You can also check with the Post Office for forwarding information. This can be tricky and a professional should be consulted.
Set Up a Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!
If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, the legal team at The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider can provide the services you need to smoothly navigate it. We are committed to providing personalized attention, and tailored solutions to meet your unique needs. With more than 28 years of experience on our side, you can feel confident that your child custody case is in good hands with us.
Reach out to our law firm today at (619) 304-8499 to set up an initial case review with our compassionate family law attorney to get started and learn more about the services we provide.