What Does it Mean to 'Serve' Papers to Your Ex-Spouse — And How Do You Do It?

February 19, 2020 | Category: Divorce

The decision to divorce can be painful, but it only represents the beginning of a difficult process. Next: serving papers to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you don't anticipate working together to arrive at an agreement, you will need to select the appropriate forms and notify your ex promptly. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done.

Preparing Necessary Forms

In Minnesota, forms related to divorce reference a 'dissolution of marriage.' If you initiate the legal proceedings, you will be known as the 'petitioner,' while your ex will take on the role of 'respondent.'

The process begins with filing two main documents: a summons and a petition. The summons simply represents a legal notice, intended to alert the respondent to upcoming legal action. If the summons is not answered within thirty days, it may be possible to achieve a default judgment, which can immediately dissolve the marriage.

The petition for divorce outlines the basic facts of the situation, including the name and address of each party, as well as the names and ages of any impacted children.

Options For Serving Papers

While some couples enter into divorce together, many situations call for an alternative approach. On occasion, summons can be served through the mail alongside a separate form designed to acknowledge the service of official divorce documents.

If the other party is not expected to cooperate, the best approach involves in-person service from somebody other than the petitioner. This process should be discussed thoroughly with an attorney before proceeding.

Are you ready to take the next step in your divorce? Look to a trusted family lawyer to streamline the process. The team at the Brown Law Offices will provide valuable guidance every step of the way. Reach out today to learn more about your legal options.

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