Scottsdale Divorce: How to Serve Papers to Your Spouse

It's the part of a Scottsdale divorce that few people talk about, but serving divorce papers to your spouse is one of the most emotionally-fueled moments in the divorce process. Even for couples who have agreed to divorce amicably, the moment when your spouse signs those documents is a big milestone.

It's not always easy to serve papers, and your spouse is not always ready to sign without another fight. You know that the papers have to be signed, but many people have trouble knowing exactly HOW to do so. Many people choose to let their Scottsdale divorce attorney handle getting the documents where they need to be. However, if you don't feel comfortable enlisting the help of a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer for this part of the process, you can handle it yourself.

Luckily, there are a few routes you can take to serve divorce papers to your spouse:
  • In person: You can hand-deliver the documents that need to be signed. Of course, this works best in a low-conflict divorce situation.
  • Certified mail: This works great if your spouse signs and returns the certified mail receipt. If he or she does not, then you will need to try another route.
  • First-class mail: You can send the documents through first-class mail, but it's a little trickier. You will need to include an acknowledgement for your spouse to sign and return. Again, if you do not receive this back, you will need to try something else.
  • Third party: A third party process server, such as a sheriff, can serve the papers for you and ask your spouse to sign.
  • Newspaper: If you have been unable to serve the divorce papers through any other means, you can ask the court to allow you to publish the notice in a newspaper of your choice. Generally, you will need to provide copies of the published notice and a statement of the time period the notice was run.

Ultimately, if you're having trouble serving papers to your spouse during your Scottsdale divorce or don't feel as though you're up to it, let Curry, Pearson & Wooten help. We are friendly Scottsdale divorce lawyers who can handle preparing and serving any documents that you need in your Arizona divorce. If you'd like more information about what we do, we'd be happy to send you a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.