Can my roommate legally be served my divorce papers?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2011

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Can my roommate legally be served my divorce papers?

I came home to them laying on the table. Should I have been officially “served”?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Family Law, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Serving a party with divorce papers - or any legal proceeding under the law - comes under what is known as the procedural laws in the state in which you live.  Generally speaking,most states prefer personal service  - actually serving the party listed a the defendant. But some times defendants avoid service so the states have methods that are permitted known as substituted service.  Serving you room mate may come under what is known in New York as serving a party of "suitable age and discretion."  Arizona law may in fact also have this method of service on their books.  But if you are skeptical you can raise the issue in your Answer by what is known as an affirmative defense" improper service.  Then that generally triggers a motion made by the other party that you have to oppose with facts and then a hearing to determine if service was proper.  I would not ignore the summons and seek legal counsel on the matter  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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