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Serving divorce papers is a crucial step in the divorce process, and in Tennessee, it must be done in accordance with state laws. A process server can be used to deliver the documents to the other party, ensuring that the process is carried out in a legal and timely manner. A process server is a licensed, bonded professional who is trained in the proper and effective service of legal documents. By using a process server, Tennessee residents can be sure that the divorce papers are served correctly and efficiently according to the state’s laws. This article will provide an overview of the legal requirements for serving divorce papers in Tennessee, as well as the process for hiring a process server. With this information, residents of Tennessee can ensure that the divorce process is carried out properly and with minimal stress.
Overview of Tennessee divorce laws
All U.S. states use a standard set of legal guidelines when processing divorces. In general, Tennessee residents must prove that their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning that the couple has no hope of saving or repairing their relationship. Furthermore, one or both spouses must have lived in Tennessee for at least a year before filing for divorce. The only exception is if one spouse is deployed and cannot be located. If a couple has been married for less than a year, they must go through a legal process known as a judicial separation. During a judicial separation, the couple must live separate from each other, but they are legally still married. When the waiting period has passed, they can complete the divorce process, just as they would if they had been married for more than a year. Divorces in Tennessee are typically granted on a no-fault basis, meaning that neither spouse is penalized because of who they are or what they did.
Why use a process server
The first step in serving divorce papers is locating the other party. Since the person being served often has no idea that a divorce is in the works, this can be a challenge. Therefore, a process server will approach the person discreetly and deliver the legal documents. The method used to serve the papers will depend on the circumstances, but a process server will almost always try to deliver the documents in person. If the other party is not home, the server can leave the documents at the home, in a place where they are likely to be found. If the documents are not left in a visible place, they can be mailed or left with a neighbor. These are known as “service by publication” and “service by delivery to third party,” and they are less desirable than in-person service. Using a process server to serve divorce papers ensures that the documents are delivered as quickly and discreetly as possible.
How to find a process server
Finding a trustworthy process server can be difficult, since there are no official licensing requirements in Tennessee. However, there are a few things to consider. As with any professional service, it is a good idea to ask for references, and to speak with previous clients to get an idea of their experience with that process server. Additionally, it is helpful to confirm that the process server is legally permitted to serve divorce papers in Tennessee. This can be done by calling the local circuit court in the county where the divorce will be filed. Some process servers are listed in the Yellow Pages as “discovery agents,” though this term is not always accurate.
Preparing the divorce papers for service
The divorce papers must be prepared according to state law. The documents must be prepared on letter-sized paper, and each page must be numbered. The first page must be titled “Divorce Petition” and the title must be written at the top of every other page. Each spouse must prepare a separate set of divorce papers and both must be signed by the person filing for divorce. The person filing for divorce must also provide the full names and current addresses for all parties involved in the divorce. These details will be included on a “Service by Publication” form. This form is used when the other party cannot be located and the papers will be mailed to them. Divorce papers must be served on both spouses within 30 days of filing.
How the process server will serve the papers
The first step in serving divorce papers is to make sure that the other party is aware that they are being served. The server can either hand the papers to the other party in person, or they can leave the papers in a visible location where the other party is likely to find them. If the papers are left in a public place, the server must also leave a note saying that the papers are legal documents and should be promptly taken to the county clerk’s office. It is illegal for the process server to remove the papers from the other party or to do anything that might prevent them from being served. If the other party fails to appear in court, the judge can issue a bench warrant to have that person arrested and brought in.
What to do after the papers have been served
After the divorce papers have been served, the court will proceed with the divorce case as planned. The judge will review the divorce papers and either grant or deny the divorce based on the current laws. In some cases, the judge may require additional paperwork or information before ruling on the divorce. If the court does not require additional information, a judge will usually make a decision within 30 days of being served with the divorce papers. If you have any questions about the process for serving divorce papers in Tennessee, you can contact your county circuit court.
Helpful Resources for Process Servers and Skip Tracers in Tennessee
Process Server One https://processserverone.com/
Phone: (855) 545-1303
Office: 3102 West End Ave., Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37203