Oklahoma law requires that a spouse seeking to end his or her marriage serve divorce papers on the other spouse. This includes a copy of the petition, the notice of hearing, and in some cases, a copy of a blank form answer.
Getting a Process Server to Serve Divorce Papers
Most of the time, it is best for a neutral third party to actually serve divorce papers on your spouse. This is called personal service. This prevents a spouse from successfully claiming that they never received the papers. A court is more likely to believe a licensed and bonded process server who attests that the papers were served than an enraged spouse who claims that they were not.
Licensed and bonded process servers are professionals. They note the time and date of service of the papers upon your spouse on a proof of service that you can then submit to the courts. They are also unknown to your spouse and so it is less likely that your spouse can successfully evade service.
Service by Publication
In Oklahoma, if you or a process server are unable to personally serve divorce papers upon a spouse, it is possible to have your spouse served by publication. This involves having a newspaper publishing the legal notice of the filed petition in the locality in which your spouse lives.
You must have made a reasonable effort to have the papers personally served upon your spouse, and you must show those efforts in a declaration that you file with the court along with your request to have your spouse served by publication.
When a court grants this request, you must then show the court the details of publication for the service of process to be deemed complete and the response time to begin.
Service of process is a small but very important step in the divorce process. Make sure that it is done correctly. Contact a Tulsa family law attorney with any questions or concerns that you may have.
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