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How to Serve Divorce Papers in Orlando, FL
Divorce is a stressful process even when it’s amicable. When there isn’t a mutual agreement, it can be a nightmare.
Whatever the circumstances, the divorce process is composed of several formal steps. These steps must be completed correctly, according to the legal requirements in Orlando, FL, for divorce proceedings to move forward.
However, even when the divorce is uncontested and both parties have agreed to it, you can’t just hand the papers to your spouse to sign.
Legal proceedings usually come with a lot of rules and requirements. These exist to help reduce confusion and conflict. When it comes to divorce paperwork, one important rule is to serve papers to your spouse through an uninvolved third party.
When a divorce is contested, a third party can help neutralize an otherwise emotional situation. Using an uninvolved person to initiate legal proceedings helps to quell emotions and reduce the chance of further disputes.
In most states, any adult who is over the age of 18 and not involved in the divorce can serve divorce papers. You can ask just about anyone to serve your spouse, including friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.
But before you ask someone you know to drop off the paperwork, it’s important to understand the requirements of service.
When divorce papers are served, formal divorce proceedings officially begin. The date of service is important because it initiates a finite window of time.
Once your spouse is served, they’ll be given a timeframe for responding to the papers. This might mean accepting the terms of the divorce, contesting the terms, or hiring an attorney before moving forward.
Whichever option your spouse chooses, they have a limited amount of time to act. The clock starts ticking the day they receive the divorce papers. To ensure this important step of the legal process is correctly documented, the party serving the divorce papers must formally document service.
The person serving divorce papers must document when, where, and how the papers were given to your spouse. This includes the date, time, and location of service. Next, the person serving the papers must go to the courthouse and complete a proof of service form.
A Process Server Can Help
Asking someone you know to serve divorce papers can have a few downsides.
It can be an inconvenience, as they must physically go to your spouse’s location and then go to the courthouse. There’s also the issue of trust and reliability – you must feel certain that the person you ask can be relied upon to complete the courthouse form promptly; otherwise, the divorce cannot proceed.
Finally, some people might feel reluctant about involving a third party in divorce proceedings, especially if the divorce isn’t amicable.
Hiring an Outside Process Server
If you don’t want to ask a family member or friend to get involved in your divorce, you can hire an Orlando process server. A process server will be well-informed about the rules of service.
Using a professional can give you the peace of mind of knowing that the process is being handled correctly. It can also help neutralize a situation in which your spouse opposes the divorce.
Finally, if your spouse is attempting to evade service to stop or slow divorce proceedings, a process server will do the work to track them down and get the papers served.
Whichever route you take, it’s important to understand that a divorce in Orlando, FL, can only move forward after a third party has served the divorce papers and reported service back to the court.