Serving the Other Party
Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)
- What does "serving the other party" mean?
- How do you serve the other party?
- What happens after you serve the other party?
©2006 by Montana Legal Services Association and Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants. Use of this Web site is restricted to not-for-profit purposes.
You must give copies of certain court documents to your spouse or the other parent. This is called "serving the other party."
The court won't give you a dissolution and/or parenting plan unless you file proof that the other party was served.
You can choose one of three ways to serve your spouse or the other parent.
- You can mail the documents to the other party. This way of serving is called "Notice and Acknowledgment." Your spouse or the other parent must sign a document called an Acknowledgment that tells the court that he or she received the documents. If he or she does not sign the Acknowledgment, you will have to serve him or her by a different method.
- You can have the sheriff serve the other party. You should have the sheriff serve the documents if your spouse or the other parent is not likely to cooperate by signing an Acknowledgment.
- You can serve the other party by publication. You must try to serve the documents by sheriff first. This Web site does not make the forms you need to serve by publication. Talk to a lawyer if you need to serve your spouse or the other parent by publication.
Your spouse or the other parent has a chance to respond.
Call the MLSA HelpLine for legal assistance:
Montana Legal Services Association
616 Helena Avenue, Suite 100
Helena, Montana 59601