Maybe you’re in the beginning stages of contemplating a divorce, or maybe you’re getting ready to file an official motion. No matter what stage you’re at in considering a divorce, the idea of taking the next step can be scary. Knowing about the process can help put your mind at ease and prepare you for the road ahead. Here is what you can expect from the beginning stages of your divorce.
Serving the Papers
After meeting with a skilled divorce attorney, you will designate a third party who will serve the divorce papers. When serving your Colorado divorce papers, you have a few possible avenues. It’s important to note that you can’t personally serve papers. However, the state does allow these options:
Serving by mail. One of the most obvious options is to serve your spouse by mail. If you choose this route, you have two options. The first is First-Class Mail, which would require your partner to sign for the package when he or she receives it from the mail carrier. The second is to send your package through Certified Mail with a return receipt requested. The return receipt is a green slip that your spouse signs acknowledging he or she received it, which is returned to you. If you cannot get your slip back within the specified time frame, you will have to elect another form of delivery.
Process server. One of the more common methods is delivering the paperwork via proxy, or a process server. These individuals are professionals who will hand deliver the divorce paperwork to your spouse. The main advantage of using this method is that their training allows them to get the paperwork to your spouse as soon as possible. You can find them through your attorney or online.
Acceptance of Service method. Technically, anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t directly involved in your divorce can deliver the paperwork. However, they must obtain a signed acceptance of service document that acknowledges receipt of the paperwork.
Serving by publication. When all other attempts fail, your last avenue of delivery is publishing your petition in a local newspaper. You must, however, have permission from the courts to do so. In order to grant this permission, you must be able to show that you made a reasonable effort to serve your spouse the paperwork, using all other methods available. The courts will also require a copy of the newspaper notice and the run dates for their records.
If you’re dealing with a particularly contentious divorce scenario, you can talk to an experienced family law attorney about the best way to serve your Colorado divorce papers. It’s essential to deliver this paperwork adhering to the letter of the law using one of the options listed. When delivering the paperwork, you’re giving your spouse a notice to appear in court, as well as the opportunity to obtain representation and guidance through the legal process that’s to come.
A formal divorce proceeding can be daunting, but less so with a proactive and informed approach. Be sure to use one of these tactics when serving your spouse divorce paperwork.