Serving Divorce Papers in Florida
When a person decides to file for divorce in Florida, their spouse must be notified of the divorce proceedings. Known as service of process, if notice is not properly given to a spouse in a divorce case it can be thrown out by the court and the filing spouse must start all over again. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III, our team has years of experience representing clients navigating the divorce process in Florida and can ensure that service of process is done correctly in your case. To learn more about this and other issues pertaining to your divorce, call or contact the office today to schedule a free consultation.
Requirements of Service of Process
In a Florida divorce case, a copy of the petition for divorce, also known as marital dissolution, must be served to the spouse receiving the service of process. A summons must also be served that is signed by the clerk of the court to the spouse receiving the service to come to court for the case. The papers can be served in person wherever that person is located, and if they cannot be located the service of process can occur at their residence or place of business so long as the papers are left with a responsible person who is fifteen years old or older. However, service of process is not allowed to be served in the recipient’s mailbox, doorstep, on their car, or anywhere else where the paperwork is not left in the responsible care of another person.
Service of Process in Person
Service of process in a Florida divorce can be done by anyone approved by the county sheriff that is eighteen years old or older and is not a party to the case. This means that a relative cannot complete service of process, but a spouse’s attorney or employee of the attorney is allowed under the law. The county sheriff is also authorized to perform service of process, which is a good option if there is a history of violence or retribution from the spouse receiving service. A professional process server is another option for service of process delivery and may be required if the spouse receiving the paperwork lives in another county or state.
Constructive Service of Process
If the spouse that needs service of process cannot be located, constructive service is also allowed. This involves posting a notice in the local newspaper for thirty days about the petition for divorce. Constructive service of process also requires the payment of an additional fee and an affidavit swearing that attempts were made to locate the spouse before utilizing the constructive service of process method for notification of the proceedings.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Tampa divorce attorney about your case, call the office or contact us today at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III now to schedule a free case consultation.