Find Out How Divorce Papers Are Served in California


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After filing for divorce in the county courthouse, the next step is to have your spouse or partner served with a copy of your divorce petition and a summons to appear in court.

How the divorce papers are served, though, can go along way towards deciding how smooth the divorce process will be.

In this issue, the San Diego family law attorneys with the Men’s Legal Center will give you the various options available to you in the way divorce papers are served on your spouse or partner.

How are divorce papers served in California?

Many people are surprised to learn there are several ways to serving their spouse or partner with divorce papers, including:

  • Personal service (face-to-face)
  • Substituted service (leaving the papers with someone else at your spouse or partner’s house when previous attempts of personal service have failed
  • Service by publication in a newspaper that the other person is likely to read
  • Service by posting the notice at the courthouse where you filed

Who can serve divorce papers in California?

Under California law, the following can fulfill the role of process server of your divorce petition:

  • A county sheriff or marshal
  • Professional process server
  • Someone over the age of 18 who is not a part of your divorce case
  • Coworker
  • Friend or relative

What’s the best method to serve divorce papers?

Each case is different but taking steps to make things go as smoothly as possible can make the overall divorce process go more smoothly and if you have kids for the sake of the children.

While your emotions may be running high during this time, work with your divorce attorney is deciding the best course of action for serving papers.

Some people make the mistake of giving in to their emotions and making a public spectacle out of the procedure, such as having their spouse or partner served at work or in a public space. Nothing is gained from such a move, though, other than agitation.

If you’re going through a divorce, protect your interests by calling the Men’s Legal Center.

To make sure you’re in the best possible position for your post-divorce life, get in touch with us here at the Men’s Legal Center and find out why divorce is increasing worldwide.

You can receive a free phone consultation and make your appointment by calling 619-234-3838 or via email.

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