Q: When filing for parenting time, do I need to serve the other party before filing?
Although additional facts may dictate exactly what you can do, you need to serve the other party.
In order to ensure the best possible schedule, you need to consult with an attorney, at least in a limited role. Far too often, an individual leaves court disappointed because they weren’t properly prepared. A small investment will provide a polished petition that you can rely upon when presentng your case to the judge.
You must arrange for the other parent to receive complete copies of all documents you have prepared. This is called "service of process." A party to an action is not allowed to serve the other party. You must have someone else who is 18 years of age or older serve the other parent. Papers CANNOT be served on a legal holiday. Personal service: The other party is personally served by someone else (friend or family member, sheriff, or process server) hand-delivering the forms and supporting documents to the other party personally or by leaving them at that party’s place of residence with some person who is of suitable age or discretion who also lives at the same residence. If either you or the other parent has applied for or is receiving public assistance benefits from the State of Minnesota, such as MFIP, Tribal TANF, General Assistance, Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, or Child Care Assistance, or is receiving child support services, you must notify the county child support office of your custody action.
Limited-scope representation is when you and a lawyer agree that the lawyer will handle some parts of your case and you will handle others. This is different from more traditional arrangements between lawyers and clients where a lawyer is hired to provide legal services on all aspects of a case, from start to finish. Limited-scope representation is sometimes called “unbundling” or “discrete task representation.”
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