Can I Give My Spouse The Divorce Papers Myself?
Regardless of where you live and in which state you are filing a divorce, you must serve your spouse the divorce paperwork. This is called the service of process. You are legally required to do this to inform your spouse that you have filed for divorce. It is crucial to note, however, that you do not physically need to serve your spouse the papers. Someone else can do it for you and should do it for you, especially if you are not in a good place with your spouse or there’s family violence involved.
What Exactly is The Service of Process?
As it relates to divorce, the service of process refers to the formal method of serving or delivering copies of the divorce paperwork to your spouse or their divorce attorney. Courts will require proof that you have satisfied all the divorce filing and service requirements before the divorce can proceed.
The main goal is to ensure that your spouse is aware that you have filed for divorce. This will also give them a chance to respond to any requests, claims, or complaints in your divorce petition.
How Do I Serve My Spouse The Divorce Papers?
In Georgia, the service process must be done through personal service. Aside from the divorce paperwork, you must also serve a summons to your spouse. You or your Lilburn divorce attorney must arrange to hand-deliver the paperwork to your spouse. This is typically done through a professional process server or the local sheriff.
Once you have served your spouse the paperwork, they must give their response within 30 days of receiving the paperwork. If they fail to respond, the court will enter a default, meaning that they’re allowing you to move forward with the divorce without the participation of your spouse. If your spouse is amenable to accepting the service, you won’t need to go through the formal service process method.
Your spouse just needs to sign a form stating that they’re waiving the formal service process and acknowledging that they have received the divorce paperwork from you. This form is called the acknowledgment of service, and you must file it with the court.
But What If You Can’t Find Your Spouse?
If you do not know how to locate your spouse or they are intentionally trying to thwart your attempts at serving the divorce papers, you can request the court to allow you to serve your spouse by publication. With this service method, you can post the divorce notice in a newspaper or other means of publication approved by the court. But before the court agrees to service by publication, you must provide proof that you made the necessary attempts to reach your spouse.
Get In Touch With a Seasoned Lilburn Divorce Attorney Now
Thinking of filing for divorce or have questions about serving your spouse? Contact the Lilburn divorce attorney at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland for legal guidance. You can learn more about the divorce process by calling our office at 770-945-2320 or reaching us online and arranging your free consultation with our Lilburn divorce attorney.