I Filed for Divorce. Now What?

Once you have filed the divorce complaint and paperwork with the family court you will need to serve your spouse with the summons and your filed paperwork. This can be done in a few ways.

First, if you and your spouse are cordial you can serve the paperwork on them yourself. You can do this by physically giving them the paperwork and having them sign the summons issued from the court documenting that they received the paperwork.

If you are not getting along a third-party can be used to serve the paperwork. This method of service is done by having a third party give the paperwork to your spouse or hiring a process server to give the paperwork to them. If this is the method used to serve the divorce paperwork, the process server would sign the summons indicating the date and time that the paperwork was given to your spouse.

Some people believe that they can dodge the paperwork and not need to worry about going through a divorce by avoiding physical service. However, even if not served, the other spouse can move forward with the process by utilizing other methods of service.

If for some reason physical service cannot be made on your spouse, you can serve the paperwork on them at their current address via certified mail. If this option is needed, delivery must be restricted to your spouse only and require a signature on a return receipt. This is needed in order to verify that your spouse did in fact receive the papers and you are required to provide the signature card to the court with the proof of service filled out on the summons.

If your spouse is still trying to evade service, you can petition the Judge to allow service through other means. The most common way of doing this is through publication. You will need to show the methods of service that you have previously attempted and if the Judge grants your petition, they will outline the other methods of service that are acceptable to the Court.