Serving Divorce Papers via Publication: Here’s What You Should Know
In light of our last blog, we thought it would be a good time to go over some tips for how to serve divorce papers via publication or through newspaper when you cannot locate your ex/have him or her personally served.
While these tips are helpful, however, be sure to contact a trusted Las Vegas divorce attorney at RIGHT Lawyers when you need experienced help resolving a divorce case.
When an ex has to be served divorce papers via the publication procedure, here are the steps that will have to be followed:
- Confirm that the Defendant (i.e., the ex who cannot be located) has not been tracked down.
- Compile the necessary forms – These include the Affidavit of Due Diligence, the Affidavit for Service by Publication, the Certificate of Mailing and the Order for Service by Publication.
- Prepare/complete the forms – This involves mailing a filed copy of the Complaint and Summons (and Joint Preliminary Injunction, if applicable) to the last known address of the Defendant (or as a “general mailing”). Additionally, this step will involve filling out the Affidavit of Due Diligence, the Affidavit for Service by Publication, the Certificate of Mailing and the Order for Service by Publication.
- File the forms with the Clerk’s Office.
- Submit copies of the filed forms to the judge – When the judge signs the Order for Service by Publication, this will be mailed to you. When you receive it, you will officially have permission to proceed with the publication process.
- Have the Summons published once a week (for at least four weeks) in a newspaper of general circulation. Once this is completed, the newspaper should provide you with an Affidavit of Publication.
- File the Affidavit of Publication with the court. Twenty (20) days after the last date of publication, a Default may be requested from the court (if the Defendant has not issued a response).
- If, at any point during this process, the Defendant is located, you must halt this process and have the Defendant personally served with the divorce papers.
- Don’t leave any lines/fields blank in the necessary forms. If something does not apply to your situation, complete that field with an “N/A.”
- Use only black ink on court forms, and make copies for yourself prior to filing these forms.
- If an ex responds to the publication, the divorce will become a contested matter, and it’s best to contact an experienced lawyer ASAP for the upcoming proceedings.