How to Serve Someone with a Court Action

We often get questions from our clients and think that many people might benefit from knowing the answers to. In this post we look at how to serve documents to a spouse in a divorce court action.

It is important that your friend properly serves your spouse; otherwise it may cause problems later on in the court process.

“To serve” the divorce documents on your spouse means to personally hand one copy of the documents to your spouse. There are certain rules that must be abided to when serving.

1. This person cannot be you because you are a party to this divorce application.
2. If your friend knows your spouse, then this person can serve your spouse at his/her last known address or wherever he/she is.
3. If the person does not know your spouse, then:
    1. You will need a photograph of your spouse to ensure that this person gives the documents to your spouse.
    2. You can then give this person your spouse’s last known address to serve the documents.
    3. If you do not have your spouse’s photograph, then this person must ask your spouse to show his/her photo identification when you serve the documents.
4. The person serving the documents should have two copies of the divorce documents.

One copy is handed to your spouse, the other copy must be kept and then attached to an Affidavit of Service, which is a document required by Court to make sure that the Notice of Family Claim has been received by your spouse. This duplicate copy will later be used by the person serving the documents to swear an affidavit before a lawyer or notary.

5. The person who serves the documents to your spouse should mark down the following:
    1. The exact address (place, street, city);
    2. The time; and
    3. The date of serving.

Disclaimer: This blog post is meant as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact Winright if you have questions or concerns around this topic.

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