Service and Maiden Name

Good Afternoon!

Two questions:

  1. My spouse signed and got notarized an Acceptance of Service, which I filed. Durham’s Judgement for Absolute Divorce paperwork has the option for service of “Defendant’s sworn statement of service”. Is this referring to the Acceptance of Service that I had her sign? It seems like it, but I wanted to make sure.
  2. I know my spouse would like to resume the use of her maiden name, but to my knowledge she did not file an answer requesting it. Am I able to request it on her behalf (since she does not plan to be in court) or will she need to deal with that on her own?


Without seeing the paperwork you are referring to, this is likely the same document. An Acceptance of Service is a notarized statement by the defendant stating that he or she accepted service of a complaint on a specific day, which is what the plaintiff uses to prove the defendant was served with an action.

It is up to your spouse to request resumption of her maiden name, which is done in the complaint or in her case, the answer/counterclaim.

Awesome, thank you so much!

One more question about this:
The Acceptance of Service was signed in the presence of a notary by my spouse, but I filed the paperwork with the court. Will this be a problem since it was not filed by her (or will they even be able to tell who filed it if it does matter?).


…and another one. If the judge issued an Order to Continue previously but was issued for a reason that was invalid, am I able to leverage that at the hearing if he finds the same thing at issue with my case? The previous reason was for the method of Service.

It does not matter who filed the Acceptance of Service, it only matters that it was filed with the clerk of court.

Generally judges will only allow continuances for good cause shown. Like you mentioned, attempting to have the defendant served and served properly is usually good cause. Can you provide more information on your question about continuances?

Excellent. As for the continuance, what happened last time was the judge issued it because I served the papers via certified mail and my spouse’s roommate signed for them. According to Rule 4j1a, this should have been sufficient (though I suppose a strict reading of the rules would refer one to 4j1e, which specifically references the United States Postal Service).


You are right in that there is a difference between service according to Rule 4(j)(1)(a) and Rule 4(j)(1)(e). Subsection (a) is generally effectuated by a Sheriff’s deputy while subsection(e) is by USPS signature confirmation. Again, however, judges will only grant motions to continue for good cause shown.