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The power of a Family Court Judge : Serving my spouse with divorce papers?

San Diego Divorce and Family Law Attorney, Paul Staley, released a new YouTube video on the how to process: Serving my spouse with divorce papers?

Serving my spouse with divorce papers-It’s all about the paperwork and timing

 About every six months like clockwork, I get a call from someone who is about to get re- married.  They’re in a panic. They had gone to get the new marriage license to re- marry only to discover they are still married to their first spouse. It is always the same story: they either didn’t know how to file the divorce paper work correctly themselves or were depending on someone else to do it for them.  They are unpleasantly surprised to find they are not really divorced.

When filing for a divorce in California, serving your spouse with divorce papers begins when you and/or your divorce attorney draft a “Petition,” a document that provides the court with basic information about you, your spouse and the children. It also states the “relief” (those things you think you will need to move on from the marriage) the “Petitioner” is requesting.  Put another way, “relief” is what you want out of the divorce.    Within the limits of California divorce law, you may request in the Petition as much or as little as you prefer.

The Petition is then filed with the court, and once the Petition has been served on your spouse, along with a Summons and any other mandatory documents, the Family Court case is officially underway.

Transcript of Paul’s Video

Serving my spouse with divorce papers?

How should the divorce papers be served on the spouse? Well, there are a couple of differnet ways that that can can be done, part of that depends on where is. We have a whole bunch of different methods that can be used. If the spouse is local, it’s probably going to have to be “personal service.” A process server, or actually, anyone over the age of 18 can hand the papers to the respondent, and that’s valid personal service. If the spouse evades service, hides behind closed drapes, doesn’t answer the door, has co-workers covering for them at the office, then there’s an alternative which we call “substituted service” where the process server or other adult leaves a copy of the petition –the summons at least– at the respondent’s home or place of work with someone who is –either– if it is at home over the age of 18, and at work –apparently in charge. And, then in addition to leaving those papers there, that same person has to mail another set of the papers to the same address on the same day, and then 10-days later the services effective. If the spouse is living out-of-state service can be actually simpler. You can send the papers by certified mail, return receipt requested, and at the spouse signs for them; you’ve got service.

 Call us if you think we can help – (619) 235-4095

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