In order for the court to validly issue an order or render a decision regarding a particular legal matter, it is important that it has acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the defendant and the plaintiff or the petitioner. Under the present Rules of Court, jurisdiction is acquired over the person of the plaintiff upon the filing of the complaint in court. There is no other act that needs to be done in order to vest jurisdiction.
On the other hand, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired upon the proper service of summons. There are three recognize ways on how the sheriff or officer of the court may serve the summons; to wit: by personal service, by certified mail or by publication. It must be noted that there is an order of preference among the three above-mentioned ways of serving summons. There must first be a personal service to the defendant in his or her place of residence or permanent place of business. If the circumstances would not allow such, then the sheriff may resort to the service through a certified mail or by registry mail. In cases where the two are not feasible, the officer of the court can now effect the service through publication.
Take note that the Rules of Court also recognizes voluntary appearance of a defendant before the court making the latter acquire jurisdiction over the former. This is usually done upon the filing of a responsive pleading or motion by the adverse party despite the fact that no summons has been served yet.
If you are the party filing the complaint for absolute divorce or divorce by bed and board, it is important that you check with the court whether or not the service of summons has been made to the other party. The best way to do this is to engage the services of good divorce attorneys in Milwaukee who will take care of all the legal matters concerning your case. Pending the service of summons to your soon to be ex-husband or ex-wife, you can now start preparing the necessary evidence that you may present in court to prove your claims. You must also have a sufficient set of proofs to rebut any claim that the other party may include in his answer. All these can be made easy and convenient on your part as long as you know how to choose the right lawyer to handle your case.