When Service Gets Sticky: How Failure to Properly Serve Documents Led to Trouble Phaedra Parks

The 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star was denied her divorce the first time around because she failed to properly serve her husband, Apollo Nida. This complication seems due to his incarceration for bank fraud and theft. Parks, a lawyer, originally filed for divorce in Georgia, asking the court to enforce a prenup that Nida signed in 2009, nine days before their wedding. In this contract, both parties waived their right to alimony. The trial judge withheld Phaedra's final divorce judgment because he was concerned that Nida had not been properly served and that his name was misspelled in the documents.

It seems that Nida was not informed that the divorce was nearly finalized, nor was he notified of the final hearing, which he could not attend. Nida has apparently expressed concerns that Parks has not disclosed all of her assets and believes that he might have a legal interest in personal property and her businesses.

In Canada, a judge would similarly be unlikely to finalize a divorce if one party was not properly served. It is important that both parties remain informed and have an opportunity to appear in court. It is now easier to serve documents in Ontario: if a document does not require personal service it can be served by electronic exchange with consent of the party being served (see Rule 6(2)(e) of the Family Law Rules). If Nida has access to internet in lockup, this might have solved Parks' problem!

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