What does it mean to have someone served and who does it in a divorce in Jefferson County? When you are served in a divorce, it means that someone is bringing you papers stating that your spouse has filed for a divorce. In Alabama you do not have to be licensed in order to serve papers. The clerk of court may choose someone to do this as long as they are over the age of eighteen. However, in Alabama papers are generally served by a sheriff, constable, or someone else who is recognized as a process server. You cannot serve papers if you are a party in the divorce.
You may serve the papers to the spouse directly, or to someone else who is authorized to receive the papers. You may also leave a copy of the papers at the spouse’s residence if you are no longer living with them. You must have the papers served within thirty days after the divorce is filed. Many times, spouses will try and avoid being served papers for a number of reasons, when this happens you may mail the papers to the spouse’s house. If you cannot locate the spouse, or they refuse to accept the papers, then you may notify the spouse through publication.
Divorce is not the only time that you get served, under Alabama law any time someone brings a lawsuit they must serve the defendant. This is a process that is intended to notify someone when they have been sued. This is called service of process. In a contested divorce, someone is served but in an easy online divorce in Alabama the service is waived.
In conclusion, to have someone served in a Madison County divorce means that you have filed for a divorce, and you have someone serve them with the divorce papers. The divorce papers contain the complaint and demand. In Alabama, you may not serve the spouse with papers yourself. Anyone over the age of 18 can serve the spouse as long as they are not a party in the action. Once the spouse has been served, the spouse will have 30 days to answer the complaint. If the spouse does not reply with an answer, the judge will most likely rule in your favor.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!