Divorce is difficult, and most people want the process over with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are rules to the filing and serving of divorce papers. If you are not familiar with the rules for filing in your state, then it is best to contact a divorce attorney to gain clarity. However, if you have already filed, then you need to understand the proper way to deliver the papers to your spouse.
How To Deliver Papers
You can deliver papers in one of three ways: hand-delivery, certified mail or regular mail with a written acknowledgment. The easiest way to handle the delivery of divorce papers is through the use of a third-party process server, someone who has no bias or pre-existing feelings toward you or your spouse.
Who Can Deliver Papers
While there is often an urge to hand-deliver the papers yourself, most states do not permit such an exchange. You can ask a friend or family member to deliver the papers, but they must be over 18 years of age. Also, when delivering the papers, the documents must be given to your spouse or a roommate of suitable age and discretion. However, if the papers are handed to a roommate, be prepared to prove the living arrangement in court.
Where To Deliver Papers
There is no rule about where the papers should be delivered. Your spouse can receive them at home, work or out and about.
What Is the Deadline for Delivery
The general timeline for the delivery of divorce papers is 60 days. However, if the spouse cannot be located or refuses to acknowledge the filing, then there may be exceptions to the timeline. A judge may also permit other methods of notification in extreme situations.
While divorce is a challenging process, it is crucial to adhere to guidelines provided by the court. If you need to serve your spouse with papers, then consider hiring a process server for the task.