Learning More: Serving Papers

how to file for divorce in Arizona

Again, your spouse does not have to sign the divorce papers. Ever. But you do have to provide proof that they received the papers. Called “Service of Process”, there are several methods.

The easiest method our office offers is where you just tell your spouse you had papers prepared and that you would like them to come to our office to get them. Or our mobile service may go to them. And curiosity often works to our advantage, as they want to see the papers to know what’s going on. So most will meet with us to get the papers. Especially when it’s made clear they’re not signing any sort of agreement. We do, however, have them sign a form stating they were given the papers. Which is the proof we need. This is called an “Acceptance of Service”.

If it’s difficult for them to come in (or if they reside elsewhere), we can mail the papers (and the acceptance form) to them. If they will cooperate, we can just use regular mail, and we’ll put little stickers and arrows noting what to sign and what to keep. We’ll even supply a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (We can also send them via email, but, honestly, it’s a LOT of papers to download and print, even in the most simple of divorces.)

Or if your spouse won’t cooperate, whether living in Tucson or elsewhere, there are other options. We can send the papers via certified mail and then file the certified mail receipt with the court. The cost is fairly minimal, but not always the best option. As your spouse must personally sign for the certified letter. Which many won’t do. Or if not home when the postal carrier comes, they won’t go to the post office to pick it up. So certified mail, while inexpensive, doesn’t always work.

Another option is to hire a process server. It’s more costly, but more guaranteed. As our process servers will go to the person’s home, workplace or known hangout numerous times. And when served your spouse does NOT have to sign for anything. Rather, the process server just hands them the papers. And if he or she refuses to take them, may just lay them at their feet. And then the process server completes a form stating the papers were received.

Last, if you don’t know where your spouse is, there’s always service by publication. The divorce is published once a week for four weeks. We will take care of it all: requesting the publication be made, making sure its published, getting copies of the clippings, and then filing them with the court.

Regardless of how your papers are served, there are various documents that must be filed with the court to show proof of service. But we’ll take care of all of that for you


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