Do I Have to Serve Divorce Papers to My Spouse?


Serving Divorce Papers on Your Spouse


To start a divorce action, you may need to serve divorce papers on your spouse. If you are filing a contested divorce, your spouse has the right to formal notice of the action. This formal notice, which will come in the papers you serve, includes instructions for how they need to respond. There are very specific rules for how to file motions or respond in a contested divorce action. Officially serving divorce papers on your spouse ensures his or her rights are protected. It also ensures they have all the information they need to follow court procedures. Your divorce action officially starts once you serve divorce papers on your spouse. This is the standard procedure unless you are filing jointly. You do not need to serve your spouse with divorce papers if you are filing jointly as it is a joint action.

Do Divorce Papers Have to Be Served?

If you are filing an uncontested, no-fault divorce jointly with your spouse, there will be no response, motions, or counter-motions. When using this method, you simply draft up a separation agreement with your spouse and file all your divorce papers at once. By filing, you and your spouse state that you agree on all matters and there is no need for adversarial action. Therefore, there is no need to serve divorce papers. This is a streamlined approach to divorce and one that is often preferable to a courtroom divorce. Contested divorce actions pose you and your spouse against each other. This can eat up financial assets as your lawyers fight on your behalf.

Consider divorce mediation if you are contemplating divorce in Massachusetts. Mediation allows you and your spouse to work through the issues in your divorce amicably and cooperatively. There is no need to file an action against your spouse and serve them as if he or she was a stranger. The formality of divorce litigation can push a wedge between you and your spouse. In the long run, it is often better to divorce as amicably as possible. This is especially true if you have children you must continue to raise together.

If you have questions about divorce in Massachusetts, contact The Law Office of Polly A. Tatum for expert help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can provide you the information and guidance needed to divorce outside the courtroom. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.

Contact us today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session.


Blog Author: Attorney Polly Tatum

Polly Tatum is the founder of The Law Office of Polly A. Tatum and is here to help you find a peaceful way to end your marriage.

Visit her bio to learn more about her experience with helping clients navigate the divorce process.

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