How to Serve the Custody/Paternity Answer & Counterclaim

Whenever you file a legal document, you must provide a copy of what you filed to the other party (or their attorney if represented). It is up to YOU to make sure the other party gets served with a copy of anything you filed. The Court does not serve the papers for you. This will explain how to serve the Answer & Counterclaim and any other documents you filed in response to the custody or paternity case.


What to Serve

You must send the other party a copy of the following:

  • A copy of the Answer (and Counterclaim)
  • A copy of your Financial Disclosure Form
  • A copy of the Joint Preliminary Injunction (if you had one issued)

You should have received an email from the Clerk of Court after you filed these documents. The email has a link to download and print copies of the documents you filed. 


How to Serve

You can send everything by regular mail. You do not need to send it by certified mail.

Send it within 3 calendar days of filing the documents.


The other parent (or their attorney) may be registered with the court system to be served with legal documents electronically. If so, when you file your documents you must have the court system send an electronic copy of the documents to the other side. Check with the Clerk’s Office for more information about this.


Who to Serve

If the other parent does not have an attorney, send everything directly to the other parent.

If the other parent does have an attorney, send everything to the attorney. If you are mailing documents, you can find the attorney’s name and address on the upper left corner of the other parent's documents. 


File the Certificate of Service

After mailing or electronically serving the documents, you will need to fill out a Certificate of Service. This form tells the court when, where, and how you served the documents. The Certificate of Service must be filed with the court to show that the other parent was properly served.

Certificate of Service (pdf)  Certificate of Service (pdf fillable) 

You can find answers to more common questions about service on the Frequently Asked Questions: Service page.