Ways to serve divorce papers

Divorce is not pleasant for anyone. The first thing you have to do to get a divorce rolling is serve divorce papers. Depending on how the other spouse is reacting to the news that you want a divorce, you will need to choose the proper way to serve divorce papers. If the papers are not served, your divorce lawsuit will not be filed in the court system and you will be unable to get divorced.

Certified Mail

If your spouse is in agreement about getting a divorce, the easiest way to serve divorce papers is to send it to him via certified mail. Have your attorney draft the legal document, and then send him a copy via certified mail. You cannot just send divorce papers in the mail because the other party can claim that he never received the papers. Sending divorce papers via certified mail provides you with proof from the Post Office that divorce papers were served. The drawback to selecting this method is that if you have a difficult spouse, he may ignore the certified mail notification or flat out refuse to accept the papers from the mailman.

Process Server

Many people serve divorce papers through a process server. A process server is someone who obtains legal documents such as divorce papers, lawsuit papers and child custody papers from local attorneys and delivers them to the defendant in person. Using a process server gives you proof that the other party received her papers. In order to serve divorce papers with a process server, you should know where the other person works or lives. If she is hiding out, it could be difficult to find her and the process server could use a private investigator or skip tracer to find your spouse.

Sheriff's Department

The Sheriff's Department typically will serve divorce papers to your spouse. Using a sheriff to serve divorce papers could be necessary in situations where you are leaving an abusive spouse. If you are ever scared for your safety or the safety of whoever serves the divorce papers, request the assistance of a sheriff.

Opposing Counsel

If you and your spouse are in agreement about getting divorced and he has his own attorney, your attorney can draw up the paperwork and serve it to opposing counsel. Opposing counsel will look over the paperwork and discuss various options with your spouse. Any further correspondence relating to the divorce will then go through the two attorneys involved.

Legal Disclaimer

If you wish to get divorced and don't know where to start, contact your local bar association to obtain recommended family lawyers. Only a qualified attorney who knows everything about your unique situation can give you adequate advice.

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About the Author

Megan Cook is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. She has been writing online since 2006 and has been published on a variety of websites. Cook has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Arkansas State University and a master's degree from Ole Miss.