This is Part 3 of the series on uncontested divorce in Wyoming with no kids. We are still using Packet No. 3 of the Wyoming Judicial Branch’s family law forms. We are now at the point where the Complaint and Summons are served on the Defendant.
Service of Process
A Defendant (your spouse) must be served with the Complaint and Summons. That is how the Court acquires jurisdiction over the Defendant. Without jurisdiction over a person, the Court cannot issue orders that affect that person.
Normally, service is done by the County Sheriff, or a process server. However, this is an uncontested divorce, so your spouse is going to accept service.
Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service
Your spouse accepts service by signing an Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service form. All this form does is tell the court that your spouse received a copy of the Complaint and Summons. It also informs them that they must file an answer withing a certain time.
This is DNCP 9 of Packet No. 3 of the pro se forms. Download and print the form, and fill it out as follows:
- Caption – This contains the County and the District Number of the Court, you and your spouse’s names, and the docket number. You have filled this out in Parts 1 & 2 already. The only thing new is the Docket Number. Just copy this from the Complaint that the Clerk gave back to you.
- Defendant’s Name – Just below the title of the document, there is a blank line. You enter your spouse’s full name there.
- Date – Down below all the text is a place to enter a date. This is the date your spouse signs this document, and not the date you fill out the form. So do not fill in this date yet.
- Defendant’s Signature – Next, you will see the line for your spouse’s signature, and more lines for phone number, and address. Have your spouse sign this in front of a Notary, and then fill in the rest of the information.
- Notarization – at the bottom of the page is where the Notary fills out the information about when your spouse signed the document. This is why your spouse must wait to sign it in front of a Notary.
Once you have the Acceptance of Service signed and notarized, you can fill out the Certificate of Service.
Certificate of Service
A certificate of service tells the court that sent a copy of whatever you are filing to the other party. After the initial service of process, you will use this form often.
You fill out the certificate of service. On the first line, write in the date that you filed the acceptance of service with the Court. This is not the date on which your spouse signed the Acceptance, or the date you fill out the certificate. It is the date you file the Acceptance.
On the date you file, you must also mail, fax or hand deliver a copy the Acceptance to your spouse. So you check the appropriate box, indicating whether you mailed or faxed or hand delivered. If you faxed, then be sure to enter the fax number you faxed to.
Down below where it says “TO:,” you fill in your spouse’s name and mailing address. Then you sing and print your name at the place indicated.
Here is an example of a completed Acknowledgment and Acceptance and Certificate of Service form.
Copy and File the Acceptance of Service with the Court
Make two copies of the Acknowledgement and Acceptance form signed by your spouse and of the Certificate of Service signed by you. Take them to the Clerk of Court. They will file the original, file stamp the two copies and return them to you.
Mail, fax or hand deliver one of the copies to your spouse, and keep the other one for your records.
You are now done with service of process. The Court has jurisdiction over both of you, and you can then proceed to the next step.
By Steve Harton
Uncontested Divorce – Part 1
Uncontested Divorce – Part 2