How can I properly serve my child’s mother to have my child support terminated?
I have filed papers numerous times to have my child support stopped, but the court says I need to notify my ex about this. I do not know where she lives or how to get a hold of her, so how can I have her properly served?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
In Indiana, copies of pleadings filed with the court must be served on the opposing party. You may try to request a copy of the court’s docket from the clerk’s office. The court records usually indicate the address of both parties and their attorneys.
If your son’s mother has an attorney, the clerk may provide you with the attorney’s address and you may send a copy of the pleading to the attorney to serve on your son’s mother. If she does not have an attorney, the court will usually have her address listed for service.
Copies of the pleading you are filing should be sent to that address. If the mail is returned to you, keep the returned envelopes and submit them to the court with a request to serve the opposing party via publication in the local newspaper. You should also try to send the pleadings to any other last known addresses for the opposing party that you are aware of.
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In addition, if you are able to contact family members of your son’s mother or ask your son for his mother’s address, that should be done prior to requesting that the court allow you to serve her via publication.
In order to serve by publication, you must establish that you are unable to reasonably obtain the address for the opposing party and you have attempted to serve her at her last known address. Then, you must request that the court permit you to serve the opposing party in this manner.
Then, you must find a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the opposing party was last known to reside and publish the notice of the upcoming hearing in the newspaper. The court will generally require that the publication run multiple times.
You should contact the clerk’s office to find out if they typically send the notice to the newspaper for publication or if you are supposed to send the notice directly to the paper. The clerk’s office may be able to provide you with the information necessary for publication, such as how much the publication fee will be and which newspaper they typically use.
Then, either you or the clerk will be sent proof of publication from the newspaper. You may then file a notice with the court attaching the proof of publication.
If the opposing party does not attend the hearing on your request to discontinue child support, then the court will determine whether your motion should be granted or denied.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.