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Florida Service of Process for Divorce
The Server

The server must have no interest in the action, be at least 18 years old, have no mental or legal disability, be a permanent resident of Florida, submit and pass a background investigation, file an application for a certificate of good conduct (certifying there is no pending criminal action against him or her), pass an examination testing his or her knowledge about the rules and laws of service of process, and take an oath that he or she will “honestly, diligently, and faithfully exercise the duties of a special process server.” Process servers must post a $5,000 bond.

The county sheriff appoints the special process server.

Process Serving

Serving divorce papers requires that copy of the summons and petition for divorce be delivered to the respondent. The petitioner must take a copy of the summons and petition to the local county sheriff’s office or a certified process server. The petitioner provides the sheriff or process server with information about the respondent’s whereabouts, including his or her employment, so that he or she can be located and personally served.

Process must be served promptly and "within the time during which the person served must respond to the process.”

Generally, the server delivers the divorce papers to the residency of the respondent.

If the respondent cannot be located there, the server may leave the papers with “a responsible person who is at least 15 years old.”

After process is served, the server completes a return-of-service form that shows the time and date of service, the manner of service and the name of the person served.

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