How To Serve Divorce Papers

Knowing how to serve divorce papers can be a delicate situation. If your soon to be ex is not ready for the marriage to end, she may make it difficult for you, trying to slow the divorce process down. You may have to finesse the situation when serving her with divorce papers. If the situation between you and your soon to be ex wife was bad, it will take quite a bit of finesse.

You  need the following  to serve divorce papers:

  • Spouse to serve
  • Petition for divorce from court
  • Representative for you


  1. Have you and your spouse come to the understanding that the marriage is ending? When both of you have come to an accord that the marriage is over, it would be a nice gesture to give her a phone call to inform her she will be served with divorce papers soon, so she's not completely surprised.

  2. Do you have a lawyer or will you take care of this yourself? If you have a lawyer then they will take care of all the divorce papers details. If you are taking care of it yourself you will need a representative to serve the divorce papers on your behalf.

  3. The person that delivers the divorce papers has to be at least eighteen years of age. Someone from the clerk or court office, Constable Office or Sheriff's Department can deliver the petition for divorce. Your spouse must sign and date the petition to give proof to the court they have received the divorce papers. If neither party disputes the divorce you may be comfortable with bringing the divorce papers to your spouse yourself.

  4. Serve divorce papers through certified mail with required signature. This way your spouse will be required to sign for the letter before receiving it and the receipt will be sent to you, verifying your spouse received the petition for divorce; this can be shown to the court.

  5. Serving divorce papers to your spouse in another state. It would be best to inform your spouse they will be served with divorce papers. Before having someone from the Constable’s Office in her state serve her. You want to get the ball rolling, but you don’t want to use the element of surprise with such a touchy subject. You want to get the papers signed in a timely fashion and going this route may cause her to feel betrayed and delay the process.

Whichever way you decide to serve your spouse with divorce papers, remember Divorce is a very sensitive subject. You should handle it with care. 

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