What if Your Spouse Refuses to Be Served Divorce Papers in NY State?

By Kay Lee

If you are seeking a divorce in the state of New York and your spouse refuses to receive the papers, you may still obtain a divorce. Despite a refusal to accept papers, there are methods by which divorce papers can be served that eliminate the need for acceptance. As such, service will be effected and the divorce can proceed.

Personal Service of Process

New York law provides for special service rules in divorce actions. Service must be made on a natural person and accomplished by delivering the papers to the person that should be served, or an adult at their home or business, and mailing the papers via first class mail to the individual’s home or business address. When mailing divorce papers, the envelope should be marked “personal and confidential” without any indication on the envelope that it is a communication from an attorney or related to a legal action. Once the mailing is complete, proof of service must be filed with the court within 20 days of the delivery or mailing. The proof of service includes information about the service, such as the name of the person who received the papers as well as the date, time and place where the service occurred.

Spousal Refusal of Papers

Although New York law is intended to discourage service in divorce cases by methods other than personal service, the court can permit service by publication. In order to receive the authorization for service by publication, the spouse seeking the divorce must petition the judge overseeing the divorce case and provide proof that a diligent effort was made to personally serve her spouse. The proof is provided in an affidavit attesting to the attempted service.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Service by Publication

Service by publication requires that divorce papers be affixed to the door of the spouse’s business or home address provided that it is also mailed by first class mail to the person being served in an envelope marked “personal and confidential” without demarcation that the package is from a lawyer or that it relates to a legal action. Proof of this service must be filed with the court within 20 days of affixing the package or mailing it. Service is considered complete 10 days after the filing.

Professional Service of Process

Although it increases the cost of your divorce, you may wish to utilize the services of a third-party process server. Professional process servers ensure that process is made in accordance with state law. Additionally, the process server provides proof that service occurred.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Serve Military Personnel With Divorce Papers
 

References

Related articles

Procedure for Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Maine

Divorces are often portrayed by the media as bitter and highly confrontational. Many couples, however, can reach agreement on their own regarding the fundamental issues, and Maine law provides a more streamlined divorce process in these instances. Understanding what paperwork is involved and when participation is required can help spouses that are on the same page obtain a final divorce decree faster and easier.

What Does an Affidavit of Non-Military Service Mean?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military personnel from having court judgments taken against them while they're on active duty. In cases where a spouse is unresponsive to divorce filings, courts require that plaintiffs or petitioners supply proof that their spouses are not serving in the military. You can provide the court with such proof by submitting an affidavit of non-military service.

How to Divorce Someone Who Was Deported

Divorcing a spouse who has been deported involves more time and effort than divorcing a spouse who lives down the block. Since the steps to pursue a divorce are governed by state law, you must follow the same procedures as for any other divorce. However, serving the initial papers on your deported spouse may present more of a challenge.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Can a Person Get Divorced Here in the Unites States if His Wife Is in Mexico?

Divorce courts in the United States can hear cases only if they have jurisdiction over the parties. You may file for ...

The Inability to Serve Divorce Papers in Texas

It's frustrating when the respondent in a lawsuit is dodging process, especially in a divorce case. Ordinarily, a ...

Self-Divorce With an Absent Spouse in Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, anyone seeking a divorce from a missing spouse may file for divorce by publication. In these ...

How to Divorce an Illegal That Was Deported From the U.S. to Mexico

The procedures for divorcing an illegal immigrant who has been deported to Mexico are not that different from divorcing ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED