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Does It Matter How My Spouse is Served Papers?

Legal service of a Complaint or Petition in Kentucky  is generally accomplished by one of the following ways: 1) sheriff hand delivery; (2) certified mail which is signed; or (3) entry of an appearance.  There are other ways, via a Warning Order Attorney or by publication, that are much less frequently used and generally cost additional fees and take time. Regardless of the method of service, all will accomplish the same goal of beginning the dissolution process. If two attorneys are involved, many times there is no actual service and the opposing party will simply file an Entry of Appearance or Response to the Petition.  If a case is amicable, often the party will simply accept service by filing one of the foregoing.  Other times, certified mail is preferred. The sheriff can be used to guarantee best service, but may be interpreted as if trying to "send a message" or otherwise intimidate.  This is especially considered if service is at a place of employment.  The person receiving the service should try to not be offended, as it is essential to begin the process.  Nearly every attorney has been involved in a case where a party dodges service, thereby not allowing the divorce to begin, much less end. If you have been served, you are required to file an answer within 20 days.  If you fail to file an answer, the case may proceed without your involvement: this is not good.  The Petitioner can then ask for the court to divide assets, assign debt and award custody, and support.  If you are not involved, it is unlikely that you will be happy with the outcome of such a hearing. If you have been served, tell your attorney when scheduling an appointment. The attorney will assure that your rights are protected and an answer is filed. If you have been served papers and are seeking legal representation, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at mwbouldin@fuse.net or call the office at 859-581-6453.

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