If you wish to file for divorce in Pasadena, the first step is to serve your spouse with divorce papers. The papers inform your spouse that you are initiating divorce proceedings and the papers are considered important legal documents.
Many divorce lawyers will serve your spouse with papers on your behalf, but sometimes you are expected to handle this process yourself. If so, the easiest way to serve divorce papers to your spouse is to hand deliver the documents personally and ask for a signature. Ask your spouse to sign the Acceptance of Service Paper, which states that he or she received the documents.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's not possible to hand deliver your divorce papers. If you left your spouse because of domestic violence, for example, you'd obviously not want to deliver the papers yourself. If you are on poor terms with your spouse already and worried about protecting your children from unnecessary conflict, you might want to avoid serving the papers in person because of the possibility of adding fuel to an already tense situation. If you don't want to deliver the papers yourself, you can send them by certified mail or by first class mail with an enclosed acknowledgement form that your spouse can sign, date, and return. Another option is to hire a third-party server to deliver the papers for you.
Obviously, you need to know where your spouse is living in order to serve divorce papers. If you were abandoned by your spouse and have been unable to locate him or her, the court may allow you to serve papers by publishing a notice in a newspaper or newspapers in the areas you believe your spouse might be. As proof of service, you'd need to give the court a copy of the published notice and a written statement of how long the notice ran in each publication.
How Can We Help?
Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena family law lawyers can assist with many divorce related concerns, including alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation.