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Cost of Hiring a Sheriff to Serve Divorce Papers

When going through a divorce, there are numerous legal steps that must be taken. One of the most crucial steps is serving divorce papers to your spouse. While some individuals opt to use a private process server for this task, many others choose to enlist the services of a sheriff. However, the cost of hiring a sheriff to serve divorce papers can vary depending on a few different factors.

Factors Affecting the Cost

The cost of hiring a sheriff to serve divorce papers can be influenced by several factors. One of the primary factors is the location of the individual being served. Some sheriffs’ offices may charge different fees based on the county or jurisdiction in which the service is required. Additionally, the urgency of the service can also impact the cost. Expedited or rush services may come with a higher price tag than standard service.

Another factor that may affect the cost is whether the individual being served attempts to evade the service. If multiple attempts are required or if the individual is particularly difficult to locate, the cost of serving the papers can increase. Additionally, some sheriffs’ offices may charge additional fees for mileage if the individual being served resides in a remote area.

Typical Costs

The cost of hiring a sheriff to serve divorce papers can vary widely, but there are some typical ranges that individuals can expect. In some jurisdictions, the cost may be as low as $20, while in others, it can be as high as $100 or more. It’s important to contact the local sheriff’s office to inquire about their specific fees and any potential additional costs.

In addition to the base cost of serving the papers, individuals should also consider any potential fees for attempting service multiple times or for mileage. These additional costs can quickly add up, so it’s important to discuss all potential fees with the sheriff’s office upfront.

Alternatives to Sheriff Service

While hiring a sheriff to serve divorce papers is a common method, it’s important to be aware that there are alternative options available. In some cases, individuals may opt to use a private process server, which can sometimes be a more cost-effective option. Private process servers may charge a flat rate for their services, and individuals can often negotiate fees based on their specific needs.

Another alternative to consider is serving the papers through certified mail or publication. These methods may not require the same level of involvement from law enforcement and could potentially be more budget-friendly for individuals on a tight budget.


The cost of hiring a sheriff to serve divorce papers can vary based on a variety of factors, including location, urgency, and the individual being served. It’s essential for individuals to inquire about all potential fees and to understand the total cost before moving forward with the service. In some cases, exploring alternative methods, such as private process servers or certified mail, may provide a more cost-effective solution for serving divorce papers. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the potential costs and benefits when deciding how to proceed with serving divorce papers during the divorce process.