Avoid having papers served?

Does he want to be served? If he does just hand them to him. Or mail them. If he has an attorney then you can server him through the attorney, but the must agree to accept service.

He absolutely would NOT want to be served. That would embarass him professionally (not to mention personally, as he would know the person serving him). He does NOT want this divorce, so it would be a triple whammy (and possibly provoke him to come after me - no thanks).

I simply have to get the divorce papers in his hands one way or another. I’m hoping an attorney can advise another route to avoid having a Sheriff serve him.

Neither of us have hired attorneys, we had no property to divide or children to fight over… so I can’t have papers sent to an attorney.

Well you could talk to him and “ask” him to accept the papers. If he will not, then only option is to have the sheriff serve him.

My question is, what is an acceptable way to relay the papers in the eyes of the court? Other than via Sheriff. Because that’s the only way I keep seeing.

I think you have 2 choices if he doesn’t want to be served.

  1. Sheriff
  2. Private Process Server

A private process server is just some Joe who will walk up to your STBX and hand him the papers and tell him he has been served. No matter how you look at it your STBX is gonna be PO’ed. Right?

I’m really hoping that it’s possible to send them via certified mail or some other “signature required” method. I mean it seems to me that would prove that he had them in his hands that way too …

I’d really like Helena Nevicosi’s input on this … she’s really who I posted the question for. Not that I don’t appreciate your contribution, Don.

He needs to be served, but he does not have to be served by sheriff. Service can be made one of four ways:

  1. Through delivery by sheriff or private process server (although some counties do not permit you to use a private process server)

  2. Via certified mail

  3. Via Fed Ex or UPS restricted delivery

  4. Via publication if the above methods fail.

He can also sign an acceptance of service if your county permits the practice, however if he is not in agreement with the divorce he may not be willing to sign this.

Best of luck, I hope this gave you the information you were looking for.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Perfect - that’s exactly what I needed. Thank you!

One more question … I’m getting ready to go file for divorce, and I want to avoid (if at all possible) having papers served on my STBX (he’s a police officer). How can I avoid having the papers served? Can I mail them by Certified Mail or something similar instead?