Service is required because it is the way that you give legal notice to the other party that you have filed court papers. "Service" means that you deliver the papers to the other party through a registered process server or the sheriff or by having the other party sign a document to accept service.
If you use the process server or sheriff, the process server or sheriff will then file an Affidavit of Service with the Court, when service is completed. If the other party agrees to accept service, you can serve the other party with an Acceptance of Service form The other party must sign it in front of a notary. This form then must be filed with the Clerk of Court.
If the Respondent lives out-of-state, he or she may be served by certified or registered mail, return-receipt requested. A Proof of Service Form along with a copy of the return receipt must be filed with the Clerk of Court. This proves that the party has been served. (FLRP 40, 41, 42, and 43)
The Petitioner must serve the Respondent with a copy of the petition and all of the forms filed with the petition within 120 days after the petition has been filed with the Clerk of Court. If service is not complete, your case will be dismissed.
All of the documents associated with the Petition that are required to be served on the other party include:
- Family Court Cover Sheet
- Preliminary Injunction
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) With or Without Children
- Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance
- Notice Regarding Creditors
- Parenting Plan
If the Arizona Attorney General's Office, Child Support Division, has been involved with your family, or if you have an ATLAS number, you must serve the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General's office will accept service. You must deliver an Acceptance of Service form to the Child Support Division of the Arizona Attorney General's office.
After the Child Support Office signs the Acceptance of Service, you must file the signed Acceptance of Service form with the Clerk of Court. This proves that the County Attorney Child Support Division has been served.