Can I Be Served Divorce Verbally?

by Wayne Thomas
Most states give you the right to be personally served in a divorce.

Most states give you the right to be personally served in a divorce.

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Both spouses have a right to participate in the divorce process. Part of exercising this right is being provided sufficient notice that a divorce has been filed. Notice is referred to as service of process and, although states can vary on the specific requirements, can never be accomplished verbally. This is due to the difficulty in proving to the court that you were actually notified, in the absence of a written record. Knowing your service of process rights and when you may waive them will help ensure that you receive the type of notice you desire when your spouse files for divorce.

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Types of Service

After your spouse files her divorce paperwork, you have the right to have a copy of these documents delivered to you in person. This is referred to as personal service and most states require that it be accomplished by someone at least 18 years of age, typically a Sheriff or professional process server. Because this can be an uncomfortable experience, some states allow you to voluntarily waive your right to personal service by filing an Acknowledgment of Service form, which then allows you to receive the paperwork through other means, such as postal mail, and confirms receipt of the documents.