1. Learn about the 2 different ways to serve

What does serving your documents mean in a family law court case?
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1. Learn about the 2 different ways to serve

Regular Service

Most documents in a family court case can be served by regular service.

To serve your documents by regular service means you, a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old, or a professional process server must do one of the following:

  • mail a copy to your partner or their lawyer
  • courier a copy to your partner or their lawyer
  • fax a copy to your partner or their lawyer
  • serve a copy by special service

Special service

To serve your documents by special service means you, a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old, or a professional process server must do one of the following:

  • give a copy to your partner directly
  • leave a copy with your partner's lawyer
  • mail a copy to your partner, but your partner must send back a special form to confirm they received the document
  • leave a copy in an envelope addressed to your partner at your partner's home with any adult living with your partner, and then mail a copy of the documents to that address within one day

Special service is usually used for documents that start the case or documents that could lead to the person being served going to jail.

Safety issues

If you fear for your safety or the safety of any friend or family member when serving documents, you can ask the court staff to arrange for your documents to be served.

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Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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