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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Affidavit of Service


Term Definition Affidavit of Service - a certification of service (delivery) of a litigation document, such as a summons.
Application in Divorce An affidavit of service proves that a party has been properly served.

In a divorce, especially a contested divorce, the filing party must serve the Respondent or Defendant a copy of the Petition or Complaint with a Summons. Upon doing so, he or she will receive an Affidavit of Service which provides proof to the court that proper service was performed. This is a legal requirement, because the opposing party must be made aware of the filing of the Petition or Complaint, so he or she has ample time to respond. The typically time to respond to a Summons is 30 days, but sometimes only 21 days in certain states. If the filing party does not have an Affidavit of Service to show the court, the case will not continue and will eventually be dismissed, because as far the court would know the opposing party is not aware that the divorce is even taking place.

In an uncontested divorce the Affidavit of Service is often not required, because the opposing party signs a Waiver of Service affidavit eliminating the need for proper service.

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