When going through a divorce or custody battle, one of the biggest concerns for many people is privacy. Divorce and custody proceedings can be sensitive matters, and it is natural to want to keep them as private as possible. However, serving legal papers to the other party can make it difficult to maintain that privacy. In this article, we will discuss how to keep divorce and custody matters private when serving legal papers.
Why Keep Things Private?
There are several reasons why someone may want to keep their divorce and custody matters private. First and foremost, divorce and custody proceedings can be emotionally taxing, and having personal and sensitive information aired in public can add to the stress and emotional burden. Additionally, if the couple has children, they may want to shield them from the public scrutiny and potential embarrassment that can come with a highly publicized divorce.
Furthermore, if one or both parties are public figures or have high-profile careers, they may want to avoid damaging their reputation or affecting their professional life. Keeping divorce and custody matters private can also help to protect financial information and other private matters that could potentially be used against either party.
What Is Public Information during a Divorce?
There is some divorce information that is always public, regardless of the efforts made to keep the divorce and custody matters private. This includes the official divorce decree, which is a court order that outlines the terms of the divorce settlement, including child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of property and assets. In addition, any court filings related to the divorce, such as motions, orders, and judgments, are also public record and can be accessed by anyone.
Other public divorce information may include the names of the parties involved, the dates of marriage and divorce, and the county where the divorce was filed. In some cases, personal financial information, such as income and assets, may also be made public as part of the divorce proceedings. However, some states have laws that allow certain financial information to be kept confidential in divorce cases, especially if there are concerns about safety or privacy.
Don’t be discouraged after reading the list of what is public information. There is still plenty of personal information you can keep private when serving or receiving legal documents. Here’s how.
Use A Private Process Server
The first step in keeping your divorce and custody matters private when serving legal papers is to use a private process server. A private process server is a person who is authorized by law to serve legal papers on behalf of the party filing the papers. Private process servers are often former law enforcement officers or private investigators who are trained in serving legal papers and have experience in doing so discreetly.
Using a private process server can help to maintain your privacy because they are not affiliated with the court system and do not have to file any paperwork or documentation related to the case. This means that there will be no public record of the service of the legal papers, and the other party will not be able to access any information about the case through the court system.
Request Service By Mail
Requesting service by mail is another way to maintain privacy during divorce and custody proceedings. This method involves requesting that the divorce or custody papers be sent to the other party by certified mail with return receipt requested, rather than having a process server or sheriff personally deliver the papers. This way, the other party can receive the papers without having to physically interact with a process server or court official, which can be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
Additionally, if the other party refuses to accept the mail or does not pick it up, the return receipt serves as proof that they were properly served. It is important to note that requesting service by mail may not be allowed in all cases or in all jurisdictions, so it is important to check with the local court rules or consult with our attorney before choosing this method.
Request Service at a Neutral Location
If using a private process server or requesting service by mail is not an option, you can request service at a neutral location. This means that the legal papers will be served at a location that is not associated with either party, such as a public place or a friend or family member’s home. This can help to maintain your privacy and prevent the other party from knowing your current address or place of employment.
File A Motion for Alternative Service
If you have tried all of the above methods and still cannot serve the legal papers without compromising your privacy, you can file a motion for alternative service. This is a request to the court to allow you to serve the legal papers in a way that is not typical or traditional.
Some alternative methods of service that may be approved by the court include service by publication in a newspaper or posting the legal papers in a public place. However, these methods should only be used as a last resort, as they can be costly and may not be as effective as traditional methods of service.
Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers for Men
There are several ways to keep your divorce and child custody matters private when serving legal papers. Using a private process server, requesting service by mail, requesting service at a neutral location, or filing a motion for alternative service are all options that can help to maintain your privacy during this difficult time. It is important to consult with a skilled attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you protect your rights while maintaining your privacy. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer for men in New Jersey who can provide you with the guidance and support you need, contact The Micklin Law Group today.