Can I Give Divorce Papers to My Spouse Directly?
15 February 2023IN: Divorce
So you have decided to file for divorce. You have met with a lawyer, and you now need to serve the papers on your spouse.
You still live with your spouse, so you may wonder: can you just save time and give them the paperwork directly? Can you just go home and hand them the divorce papers?
That would seem like the easiest way to go about the process. However, the law does not allow you to serve your spouse divorce paperwork directly in person. While you are responsible for serving the paperwork to your spouse, it must be done through an approved method. It cannot be you who serves the other party.
So, how do you go about this? Here are some alternative ways to ensure your spouse is served.
While you cannot personally hand-deliver the paperwork to your spouse, you can have someone else do it. It must be someone over the age of 18. It can be a friend or family member. You can hire a process server or someone else to do it. The sheriff’s office may also do it, although they may charge you a fee.
Also, note that the paperwork has to be given directly to your spouse. You cannot give it to someone else, like a friend or family member of your spouse, unless it is someone who lives in the same home as your spouse, such as a roommate. Also, if your spouse has given you written authorization to serve someone else, then you can do so.
The papers can be given to your spouse anywhere they can be found. It does not have to be at their home. It can be at work, on the street, at a store, or at another location.
The only way you can give your spouse the paperwork yourself is if you mail it to them. You can mail them to any place where you think your spouse will receive them, such as work or at home. You can send the papers via certified mail, which means that the post office gives you a receipt showing that you mailed a letter. When the recipient receives the letter, they sign a green postcard. The post office sends you this to show proof of receipt. Your spouse needs to be the one who signs the postcard unless it is signed by someone else who lives in their household.
If your spouse refuses to be served or cannot be located, contact your lawyer to understand the next steps. There may be other service options.
Contact Our Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyer Today
Serving the papers is one of the first steps in the divorce process. There are restrictions on how this must be done, so make sure to follow the directions. Our office prefers personal service through a private process server in order to avoid difficulties.
The Murfreesboro divorce lawyer at The Law Office of David L. Scott can help you understand how to serve divorce papers. Learn more about the divorce process by scheduling a consultation. Fill out the online form or call (615) 896-7656.