Family Law: How to Serve a Summons for Support 

Whether you are going to serve a summons for support by publication or personally delivering the documents, there are some things you need to know. Make 3 copies of your papers and make sure you file them with the Document Examiner. There are alternatives to service by publication, and it depends on where you are filing. Read this article to learn more. 

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Alternatives to serving a summons for support 

In cases involving child custody, alternative means of serving a summons for support are available. Instead of serving the summons to the summoned party, the court may choose to mail the document to the other parent’s last known address or place of business. If a default order is entered, it may be vacated if the defendant can demonstrate that it was caused by an excused or valid defense. 

Other options for serving a summons for support include posting a copy of the document at the defendant’s residence or business address. This method of service can take several days and is ineffective if the person who receives it is not home or cannot get to the court. It also has a higher likelihood of resulting in a default judgment and is, therefore, less reliable. However, it’s worth considering if the alternative service method is an option for your case. 

Alternatives to service by publication 

There are several ways to serve a summons for support. In some cases, a person seeking a divorce must serve a separate support summons as well. If you want to use the publication to serve the summons, you must first file a motion with the court. The motion must state why you need this method and show how previous attempts at service have failed. The Self-Help Center does not provide forms for service by publication, but you can visit a law library to find the appropriate one. 

Generally, the best method is personal service. The main advantages of this method include the directness and confirmation of handing over information. However, it may not be possible to serve a defendant personally in every case. Fortunately, courts have come up with different ways to serve a summons. These methods are referred to as alternative services or notifications. Here are some of the more common methods for serving a support summons. 

Alternatives to service by personal delivery 

Regardless of how your summons for support was served, proving that you received it is vital to your case. In many cases, personal delivery is required by the courts. If you’re unable to personally deliver the summons, there are a few alternatives to consider. Among these options are publication and certified mail. Published summonses are more costly than personal service and may be returned unopened. Nonetheless, they are effective and can avoid embarrassing or costly pitfalls. And unlike serving by personal delivery, this method does not require the defendant’s knowledge. 

Another alternative to serving by personal delivery is to post a summons and complaint in a suitable place. For example, a person who conducts a business as a partnership may be served by mail. As long as all of the partners are over the age of 14, a process server may leave the summons with a person who can accept it. This may be someone else’s neighbor or a friend.