Child Support Laws: How To Properly Serve A Party

Question:divorce lawyer Carrie Westbrook

What are the child support laws when it comes to being properly served? I have learned that my ex is trying to say I owe her child support and that she is taking me back to court for it.

However, I have not been served any paperwork. Her divorce lawyer thinks if he just mails me the motion then that is considered me being served, but shouldn’t it come from the court?

What constitutes being properly served?


I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

Each state has different rules on what constitutes proper service and when formal service is required. Many states consider it proper service for the opposing party or her attorney to simply mail you a document as opposed to having you formally served.

Therefore, I would never suggest that you just ignore it on the basis that you think it was improper service. You need to consult a licensed attorney in your state to be sure.

There are very few, if any, states that require documents to come from the court before they are “official.” Most documents are typically prepared and sent by the opposing party or her attorney, not the judge or the court in your case.

There can be severe consequences to you not responding if it turns out that it was proper service. For example, most states allow for her to automatically get what she is asking for if you do not respond at all.

By the same token, however, you do not want to automatically respond if there was not proper service because you could waive your right to later contest that issue and you would be subjecting yourself to the court’s jurisdiction despite the improper service.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer and financial advice on divorce, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Carrie H. Westbrook, an Associate Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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