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Understanding an Affidavit of Service | LegalMatch Law Library

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What is an Affidavit of Service?

An affidavit of service is a legal “receipt” that confirms the delivery of documents from one party to another in a legal matter. Delivery of such documents is known as “service of process” with the purpose of informing one party that a lawsuit has been filed or is pending. The affidavit is the server’s testimony that he or she served the documents to the receiving party and stands as evidence if the defendant says otherwise.

What is Contained in an Affidavit of Service?

An affidavit of service will detail the following:

  • Time of Service;
  • Date of Service;
  • Manner of Service;
  • Identity of Person Served; and
  • Any Other Pertinent Details of the Job.

All of these details serve as proof that the person was served documents, and as such, the reason why many states call an affidavit a “proof of service.”

When are Affidavits of Service Used?

An affidavit of service can be used anytime proof is needed that legal documents were delivered to a party. In family law, this may include:

  • Service of Divorce Papers;
  • Service of Child Custody Orders;
  • Service of Spousal or Child Support Orders; and/or
  • Service of Other Urgent Matters.

In some cases, affidavits of services may be used in court proceedings where one party is denying ever having received the documents in question. If a person is found to be lying, perjury charges may follow.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Affidavits of Service?

If you need to serve papers in your case, you may want to consult a family law attorney to ensure you are taking the necessary steps. Affidavits of service can be a critical piece of evidence in trial litigation, and an experienced lawyer will help you gather the evidence you need, as well as represent your best interests in court.

Photo of page author Sarah Tipton

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-29-2017 12:03 PM PST

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