February 3, 2010 By Paul Wallin

If you recently filed for divorce, before you go any further in the divorce procedure you need to serve your divorce Petition for Dissolution, Summons, and any other supporting paperwork on your spouse. You personally are not allowed to give the paperwork to your spouse. You are also not allowed to simply mail the paperwork to your spouse.

Any person who is at least 18-years-old and not a party to the divorce may serve the divorce papers on your spouse. You can contact the sheriff’s department in your county to serve the paperwork for you. They may charge a fee for this. Having the sheriff’s department do it is sometimes favorable because they are inexpensive. However, it might take a while before service is completed. You can also pay a process server to serve your spouse with the paperwork. Legal process servers usually charge more than the sheriff’s department, but they are also usually faster. Or you can have a friend or family member serve your spouse. Hopefully, they would do this for you for free, and hopefully they would do it quickly for you.

The sheriff’s department and a legal process server will provide you with a completed Proof of Service form that you will have to file in court. The Proof of Service must be filed so that the judge knows for sure that your spouse was served with the paperwork. If a friend or family member does the service for you, you will want to provide that person with a blank Proof of Service form for him or her to fill out and sign.

If you have any other questions about serving your spouse with divorce papers, please call us. We’re here to answer your questions. Our experienced California family law attorneys can provide you with legal advice and will be your advocate in a family law court. If you’re thinking of hiring an attorney for a dissolution, call us today at 1-888-749-7428 for a consultation, or fill out the online case evaluation form to the right.

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