Do divorce papers have to be served – What you need to know

Divorce terminates a relationship. It can be a stress reliever for some, but life-changing for others. But when you opt for it, it is the moment you decide to move ahead leaving the stress behind.

But before you begin with the divorce process, it is essential that you seek expert advice from a family law attorney who will help you get the idea about the consequences after the completion of the divorce process, such as child custody issues, property and asset division issues, and the laws about the debt payment.

It is important that you should share everything in detail with your family law attorney to prepare for the circumstances you will experience after the divorce is finalized.

It’s maybe the first time for you but not for your attorney – so don’t hesitate to ask whether do divorce papers have to be served or you need to deliver them to your spouse.

How to draw the divorce petition to be served?

The first step in serving your divorce papers is to file a complaint and summon. After filing your divorce, the documents must be sent to the defendant (your spouse). This process is particularly known as ‘service of process’. For the serving of divorce papers, you have to decide through whom you’re going to serve them to your spouse. The court doesn’t take the responsibility to serve the papers. Also, you have to make sure that the divorce papers are hand-delivered to your spouse.

If you want your divorce process to be smooth, without your complaint being dismissed, then it is suggested to read the article in full.

What to serve?

When you decide to get a  divorce through a proper legal channel, make sure that your spouse is being served the following:

  • the citation (can be achieved by your clerk’s office where you have filed your case)
  • complaint or divorce copy
  • summons
  • any other complaint to start your divorce process such as joint preliminary injunctions

Make sure to serve the copies with the original ones that should be signed and submitted back to the court.


 How can the divorce papers be served?

You can get the service of the sheriff, constable, court clerk, or private process server to serve your divorce complaint to your spouse using any of the following methods.

  • Service by certified mail, registry, or return receipt request:

The constable will initially send the divorce papers through registered mail or certified mail. If the receipt is signed and returned back to the clerk, then he will fill out the return service form, explaining how and when your spouse was served and file the completed form of service to the court, or will send it to you.

  • Personal service:

The sheriff, constable, or the private process server will send the divorce paper to the defendant in person, complete the return-of- service form, detailing about where and when the papers were served, and will send it to you or to the court. Your spouse doesn’t have to acknowledge or sign anything.

  • Post-service:

This method can be used if you are unable to find your spouse, or when you don’t want to involve your children in the process. You can post your divorce papers to the last address you had.

What happens when your spouse doesn’t respond to the divorce papers?

It is important to hand-deliver the divorce papers to your spouse. You can appoint a person specially to do this on your behalf.

Once in the United States, the court allowed a woman to serve the divorce papers using Facebook. In this specific case, it was tough for the wife to locate her husband. The wife then managed to convince the court that the only way to serve the divorce papers is through Facebook Messenger.

Using Facebook for serving papers may seem an immature act to someone, but it underlines the importance of serving them to the defendant and making sure that your spouse is completely aware of the actions that are being taken.

At times, it becomes hard to trace down your spouse to hand-serve the divorce paper. In these scenarios, you have to submit an application to the court showing what actions have been taken to locate, or contact your spouse.

Do divorce papers have to be served from your spouse, you can get all the information here to know how you should respond to the divorce petition, and what papers you would need. Also, if you don’t need to involve a lawyer in your case, read the detailed article.

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