What You Need to Know About How to Serve Divorce Papers in Louisiana
Navigating a divorce can be a stressful and difficult ordeal. Here’s everything you need to know about how to serve divorce papers in Louisiana.
The Basics of Serving Divorce Papers in Louisiana
One essential step in the divorce process is serving your spouse necessary court forms. The petitioner must provide notice to their spouse of the divorce by serving, or delivering, copies of the forms to their spouse. Louisiana permits the following types of service:
1. Service by the Sheriff’s office
When the petitioner initially files their divorce papers at the courthouse, they may request the Sheriff of the parish to serve their spouse a copy of their paperwork. This service does require a fee, which varies based on the parish.
2. Service by a qualified person
A qualified person who is over 18 years old, not in a party in the litigation and resides in the state may serve the paperwork to the petitioner’s spouse. The court must deem the person qualified to perform the duties required.
3. Waiver of Service
If both spouses reach an agreement and plan to work together on the divorce, the other spouse may choose to waive the service of the petitioner’s divorce papers and forego the formal service of process. In wavering the service, the spouse voluntarily enters a case.
4. Appointment of a curator
If the petitioner is unable to locate their spouse, they may have a person appointed as their curator, who will then take all steps necessary to locate the missing spouse. If unsuccessful after due diligence, the curator can testify to the court regarding the steps they took to locate the spouse. This service does require a fee.
5. Certified mail
Service of process by certified mail is used in particular circumstances, such as the curator sending certified mail to the missing spouse’s last known address. This service may require a fee.
FAQs About How to Serve Divorce Papers in Louisiana
Can I serve the papers myself?
No, the petitioning spouse cannot serve papers for a case they are involved in, but the other spouse may agree to a waiver of service.
Does a process server need to be licensed or a professional?
No, the process server simply needs to be a qualified individual the court deems capable of performing service duties.