Do I have to serve my spouse divorce papers?

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Divorce can be a tricky process no matter the situation, and the laws regarding the process vary from state to state. Are you wondering how divorce papers work in New York? If you are seeking legal advice for your divorce process, our Divorce Law Firm in Bohemia, NY is here to help. Continue reading to learn more about divorce papers in New York.

How do I serve divorce papers?

Divorce papers are legally referred to as divorce petitions or complaints. Serving divorce papers happens after one spouse files for divorce with the state, and it marks the beginning of the divorce process. In New York, you have 120 days from the date you filed your divorce papers with the court to serve them to your spouse. In New York, divorce papers must be served in order to begin the divorce papers.

Who serves the papers in New York?

Some states require divorce papers to be served by a process server or other official. In some states, couples can even file for divorce jointly, which dissolves the need for serving papers. In the state of New York, only one person can file a divorce complaint, and the divorce papers can be served by any New York resident over the age of 18. Whoever serves the divorce papers must sign an Affidavit of Service to prove that the papers were successfully delivered. You are not allowed to serve the papers to your spouse yourself; someone else must do it for you. You may hire a process server if needed, but they require a fee. If you hired an attorney to represent you, they usually will handle serving the papers.

What if I can’t find my spouse?

There are various substitutes to serving divorce papers in person if you are unable to locate your spouse. You must prove to the court that you made diligent efforts to contact your spouse in order to use an alternative method. Most commonly the court could allow you to inform your spouse through publication, like the local newspaper. You may possibly be allowed to mail the papers to your spouse. In some recent cases, spouses have been able to serve divorce papers virtually through social media, but that’s up to the judge to decide. For quality legal counseling, or if you have any other questions that you need answers to, simply contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today for help today.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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