If your spouse has filed for divorce, they’ll be trying to serve you with divorce papers. That can be a very emotional time for them and you. There’s a lot on the line, and even amicable divorces aren’t always easy.
There’s much to consider in any divorce, including kids, property, support obligations, and other details. That can make it stressful and frustrating, and when people’s emotions run high, they sometimes make choices they wouldn’t make under calmer circumstances.
Avoiding Service Can Impact Your Case
Many people try to avoid service in a divorce case because they’re struggling with the emotional aspects of the situation. But you must understand how avoiding service can impact your case as you move forward. Trying to avoid being served divorce papers can significantly impact the court’s views regarding your case. In other words, the process server will file a declaration detailing every attempt they made to serve you with the paperwork.
Process servers have to make a good faith attempt to serve you in a divorce case, and if you’re hiding in your house and not coming to the door, the server can say that they made that effort. They can document your behavior and avoidance, and the court could determine that they’ve done all they can to get the paperwork to you properly. In other words, that’s where their obligation ends. Unfortunately, that can cause significant problems as your divorce case progresses.
You Need to Know What’s in the Paperwork
Instead of avoiding service, you want to accept the paperwork. Why? Because you need to know what’s in there and what your spouse is asking for. You’ll also need those documents to have a timeline of what’s coming next and to show an attorney so that they can help you with your case. It’s tough to get advice if you don’t have the information your attorney needs to advise you properly. Accepting service is the way to avoid those kinds of problems.
You Don’t Want to Pay Extra Fees
If the court finds that you were challenging to serve, they could order you to pay your spouse’s attorneys fees or other expenses. In some cases, there are additional fines or even risks of jail time if you refuse service in a violent or threatening way. For example, pulling a gun on a process server can have a long-lasting impact on potential criminal charges and your divorce case. You could risk losing visitation or custody battles if you’re considered dangerous.
Contact an Attorney for the Support You Need
The best thing to do in your divorce case is to be proactive. Accept service of the paperwork, and they work with an attorney to protect your rights and address your obligations. If you’re stressed and upset and unsure what to do next, reach out to us at Hartley Lamas today to get the information and support you need.