Earlier this week, TMZ reported that George Zimmerman has finally been served with the divorce paperwork filed by his wife. She filed for divorce back in September, but Mr. Zimmerman had been eluding service until this week. In Florida, as in Pennsylvania, a divorce action cannot move forward until the defendant is served with the Divorce Complaint.
So, what are the process service rules for a Divorce Complaint in Pennsylvania?
1. The Complaint must first be filed with your local courthouse. Consult a divorce attorney to learn exactly what must be included in the Divorce Complaint.
2. Your spouse must be served with the divorce complaint within 30 days in one of the following ways:
– By certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested;
– By hand delivery (note, however, that there are restrictions on who can effectuate service upon your spouse);
– By regular mail, only if your spouse is willing to sign a document called an “Acceptance of Service.” This method is not recommended, particularly in contentious cases.
3. Proof of Service must be filed with the Courthouse before the divorce can move forward. If there is not valid service within 30 days, the complaint will need to be reinstated.
Contact experienced divorce attorneys Alexis Miloszewski or Jessica Smith if you need help with the initiation of a divorce action. Although service of a divorce complaint should be simple, that’s not always the case. Just ask Shelly Zimmerman.