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Upon deciding that you wish to terminate your marriage with your spouse, one of the first things that you must do is serve them with divorce papers. Now, there are many different ways you can go about this. Continue reading to learn the best way you should serve your spouse with divorce papers and how an experienced Bergen County divorce attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can guide you down the right path.

What is the meaning of divorce papers?

You may find it excessive that your divorce papers must be hand-delivered to your spouse. But New Jersey law finds this necessary so that your spouse becomes fully cognizant of your intentions for divorce. And because the papers may state your grounds for divorce and your request for divorce-related matters (i.e., alimony, child custody, child support, property division, etc), your spouse should be allowed to accept or contest them.

You must serve divorce papers so that your spouse is fully cognizant of your petition for a divorce. That is, your Summons and Complaint for Divorce will include your grounds for divorce and any special settlement requests you have (i.e., alimony, child support, child custody, property division, etc). By placing these divorce papers in the hands of your spouse, they will have the full opportunity to contest it if they so desire.

What happens after I serve divorce papers?

Once your spouse has legally received your Summons and Complaint for Divorce, you and your attorney must file it with the New Jersey court. You must also file an Affidavit of Service, which is a proof of service that states the following:

  • The name of your spouse, who was served divorce papers.
  • The address of where your spouse received the divorce papers.
  • The date of when your spouse received the divorce papers.

Overall, the purpose of this is so that the court knows that you served your spouse with divorce papers in a way that abides by New Jersey law.

Who is eligible to serve divorce papers?

By all means, you are eligible to serve divorce papers by yourself. However, we understand that sometimes there are circumstances that get in the way of this and that you may need someone to do so on your behalf. Notably, New Jersey law allows for the following individuals to serve divorce papers on your behalf:

  • Your attorney.
  • The county sheriff from where your spouse lives.
  • A process server who is appointed by the court.
  • An individual who does not have a direct interest in the service or your divorce.
  • A competent family member who is over the age of 14.

It is important to note that you may have to pay a fee to request the service of a county sheriff or otherwise a process server. For more information, contact a skilled Hackensack, NJ divorce attorney today.

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