What Can I Do If My Ex Avoids Being Served?

Ask a Lawyer


My ex has repeatedly denied my parenting time ordered by the court, so I recently filed for contempt; however, she will not answer the door for my process server.

How can I get her served if she keeps dodging the process server?

Rhode Island divorce attorney Diana Sladen


First of all, you’ve done the right thing here: You filed a motion for contempt. This is a classic case of parental alienation, which is never in the best interests of your daughter.

It appears as if your ex-wife is avoiding service. Have you tried serving her at work? Have you tried serving her at your daughter’s school at pick up or drop off?

If you are unable to try a different location, there is the stake out option where you pay a constable to simply wait till she arrives home.

If you have exhausted those options or prefer to not go down that route, then what I would recommend is to get the court involved in the service process.

You can motion the court for an alternative form of service. Depending on the judge and the jurisdiction, a judge can give you the “OK” to have the process server simply leave it at her house or email it to her or fax it.

It is clear that she is avoiding service here. Be sure to document all of the attempts and provide this information to the court.

Again, I am not licensed in your jurisdiction, and the above answers are very general and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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