What Happens if I Avoid Service?
Are YOU avoiding being served? Unfortunately “out of sight out of mind” does not work well with this situation. The court process will attempt to serve you, but if you do try and hide, the process will continue without you. Anything from divorce, parenting time, legal decision-making or child custody are legal matters that require you to be served. If you did find a way to avoid all attempts of being served, the court can serve you by publication, which means they will put the notice in the newspaper.
Again, just because you don’t respond to the court service, doesn’t mean you get out of the situation. There are negative consequences that will follow your neglect. Honestly, why wouldn’t you want some input in what is going to happen to your family? Filing a response is your chance to tell the court what you want.
I’ve Been Served, Now What?
As the respondent, you have 20 days to file a response or the petitioner can file for default judgment. That means, by default, the petitioner would be granted their request because the judge never got the opportunity to hear your side. After the petitioner files for default, it takes 10 days for it to be granted. If there is still no response after that 10 day mark, then the judge now has free rein to make decisions about your family. Unless you really don’t care what happens to you and your family, it is highly suggested that you take the time to file a response.
If for some reason you are unsure if a court process has begun, you can always contact your local clerk of court. It is best to check the clerk of court in the county that your ex is in as well. And just to be safe, we recommend checking the county where a court may have previously issued an order.
It is very important to keep up with deadlines. Checking with the court every few days will keep you on top of things and make your life easier. A simple phone call can keep you out of trouble and stress-free. When you call, make sure you ask, “Is there anything that has been filed in the family court that I need to respond to?”
List of Clerks for Each Arizona County:
|Apache County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-337-7550|
|Cochise County Clerk of the Superior Court||520-432-8570|
|Coconino County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-673-7600|
|Gila County of the Superior Court||928-425-3231|
|Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-428-3100|
|Greenlee County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-865-4242|
|La Paz County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-669-6131|
|Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court||602-506-3754 (Phoenix)602-506-2137 (Mesa)602-372-9437 (Northwest)602-372-7710 (Northeast)|
|Mohave County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-753-0713|
|Navajo County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-524-4188 (Holbrook)928-532-6003 (Show Low)928-289-6803 (Winslow)928-535-7103 (Heber)|
|Pima County Clerk of the Superior Court||520-740-3200|
|Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court||520-866-5300|
|Santa Cruz County Clerk of the Superior Court||520-375-7800|
|Yavapai County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-777-3040|
|Yuma County Clerk of the Superior Court||928-817-4222|
Filing a Response
You can make a trip to the courthouse to pick up a blank Response form, or you can log in to Access Legal to access professional quality Response documents and 24/7 support from our Certified Legal Document Preparer. Filing the correct response with no mistakes in a timely manner is crucial to getting what you want from the court system. Our system guides you through the steps to create the professional quality legal documents you need without the expensive attorney fees.