Filing for divorce: How to serve legal papers

| Dec 15, 2020 | Blog, Divorce |

Unfortunately, not all marriages in Minnesota are going to make it. In fact, the national rate of divorce is hovering around the 40% mark. This has led to many couples searching for answers as to how to notify their spouses that they want a divorce. This is extremely important as you need to keep in mind the proper legal procedures. Failure to do so can cost you certain losses in court. The following includes information on how to legally notify your spouse of a divorce.

Dissolution of marriage

The very first thing to do if you’re the one initiating the divorce is to file a complaint about the dissolution of the marriage. You must file this complaint with the clerk of your district court. A judge will then provide you with certain rules and restrictions.

Notifying your spouse

Once the judge has provided his or her signature, and you have ensured that you have filed all the complaints, it is now time to notify your spouse about the divorce. This process is called “service of process,” and there are about three ways to go about it.

Voluntary appearance

The first method is called a voluntary appearance. As the name suggests, this is when you volunteer to present the documents to your spouse in person. In some cases, you may even be able to mail your divorce documents directly to your spouse.

Service by sheriff

The second way involves having a local sheriff hand-deliver the documents to your spouse. This can be a great option for individuals who are leaving abusive relationships and would rather not be anywhere near their spouses when they receive the news.

Service by publication

In rare cases, when a person cannot locate his or her spouse anywhere, he or she may ask a judge to allow what is called a “service by publication.” This usually means that you may publish the divorce complaint in various newspapers. Note that you will be asked to prove that you’ve done everything you could to find your spouse.