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What happens if a non custodial parent cannot be served with papers?

Tampa, FL |
Filed under: Family law

I live in Florida and my kid's dad ran off to Ohio. He told me he wont pay CS unless the state garnishes his wages. He signed the birth cert, so paternity shouldn't be an issue. I filed with Dept of Revenue, but they cannot find him to serve papers to get an order established. There is an open case, but no order yet. They have his SSN and I have been giving as much info as I can to get this done.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If you are unable to serve the Respondent you can do a Motion to Allow Constructive Service along with an Affidavit of Diligent Search. Basically, this is a form stating that you have looked in a number of different places to find your ex's current address and have been unable to find him so you are requesting that the Court allow you to use what is known as constructive service. Constructive service is basically a notice in a local newspaper. Unfortunately, in my experience, the DOR will not do any of this for you and if constructive service is permitted, it can be quite expensive. Below is a sample Affidavit of Diligent Search that will show you all the places you need to search before the Court would even allow constructive service.


  2. This answer is correct. If you're looking for a great family law attorney with reasonable prices in the Tampa area to enforce your rights, I'd call attorney Mark Moon at Moon Law Group.


  3. I may be in error but I don't believe constructive service will allow the Florida court to assert personal jurisdiction over father for the purpose of getting a support or money. Personal service is required and CSE won't do anything except try to use the foreign state's sherrif's office. Your case will languish and CSE will eventually ship the case to Ohio. You want the case to stay here for enforcement and modification purposes. Do this: save up some money. Get on the internet and find a private process server. Get CSE to get that person appointed to serve the obligor. After that proceed to a conclusion. Good luck.

    This answer was provided as a courtesy to you and no attempt was made to establish any type of attorney/client relationship.


  4. You can serve him through publication and through Constructive Service of Process.

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