Who Can Serve Divorce Papers in New Jersey?

woman served papers

If you are seeking a divorce from your spouse, you will have to serve them with divorce papers. In the state of New Jersey, there are many ways that you can go about this. Read on to discover who is allowed to serve divorce papers and how one of the seasoned New Jersey divorce attorneys at Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello can help you understand how to go about this.

How are divorce papers served in the state of New Jersey?

First, the purpose of serving divorce papers is so that your spouse is made aware of your petition for divorce. Upon receiving the divorce papers, your spouse will have the opportunity to review your grounds for divorce and your settlement requests. With this, they may either accept or contest it.

So, your attorney will assist you in preparing your Summons and Complaint for Divorce, which you will then file with the New Jersey court. And when your divorce papers are served, proof of service must also be filed with the court via an Affidavit of Service. Such proof of service should state the name of your spouse, the address of where it was served, the date of service, etc. Overall, this proves to the court that you properly petitioned for a divorce from your spouse.

Who is allowed to serve divorce papers in the state of New Jersey?

You have every right to take the initiative and directly serve your spouse with your Summo0ns and Complaint for Divorce. However, sometimes situations do not allow for such a straightforward process, and you may require assistance. With that being said, below are some other individuals who may be eligible to serve your spouse with your divorce papers on your behalf:

  • Your attorney.
  • Your attorney’s agent.
  • The county sheriff where your spouse resides.
  • A person who is specifically appointed by the New Jersey court.
  • A competent family member who resides with your spouse and who is over the age of 14.
  • A competent adult who does not have a direct interest in your divorce action.

It is important to note that a county sheriff or otherwise a process server may require a fee to perform the service.

Especially if your spouse is resistant to getting a divorce, it may be difficult to track them down to legitimately serve them with your divorce papers. When you fail to serve them after a reasonable and good-faith attempt, you may serve them by registered or certified mail. This mail may be sent in the following ways:

  • Sent to your spouse’s home with a return receipt requested.
  • Sent to your spouse’s home with postal instructions to deliver to only them.
  • Sent to your spouse’s place of business or employment.
  • Sent to a person who is legally authorized to accept your spouse’s service.

If you are having difficulty with serving your spouse, then you must contact a competent attorney from our Morris County divorce & separation law firm today.