Wife is seeking a divorce but her lawyer says I don't have to be served because it amicable. is there any truth?
3 attorney answers
Ms. Taylor is spot on. Also, I will add that it is a very bad idea to have your wife's attorney draft everything and you not have it reviewed by an attorney of your own. To be clear, the attorney's job is not to be fair to you both...it is to do what she feels is best for her client.
It is possible that the attorney will have you sign an “Acceptance of Service” that acknowledges your receipt of the Summons and Complaint. Typically, in amicable cases, an Acceptance if Service is signed because the receiving party has agreed to accept the documents in lieu of being served by Sheriff or certified mail.
Please also note that a separation agreement is completely different than divorce papers. In NC, parties CANNOT agree on paper to get divorce, and a lawsuit MUST be filed (even if the other person will amicably accept service of the lawsuit papers, which may be what this lawyer is referring to, but we can only speculate without more information/documents). If you all have come to terms on a separation agreement, that's GREAT! But as suggested, make sure to have your own independent counsel review/advise on it. Her lawyer won't and CANT do this for you. Also, have you all been separated for at least a year? If not, then there definitely can't be any divorce papers to sign at this point anyway.
You should demand (nicely!) to get a copy in advance of everything they are "preparing for you to sign" and take it to an attorney for a consult. You can use the excellent Find a Lawyer tab at the top of Avvo.com
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