Do I have to have my spouse served for an uncontested divorce if he’s willing to sign?

I hear conflicting information on whether it’s necessary in my case. I am doing my divorce pro se and the instructions that the court hands out states that the plaintiff is to send the papers to the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t return the affidavit, continue to the next step in the instructions which states the defendant is to be served personally by hand.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The court's instructions are referring to a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt.  If your spouse signs the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt, that would be sufficient without having your spouse served by a process server or the marshal.  The purpose of signing the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt or the purpose of being served by a process server if the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt is not signed is to provide notice to your spouse of your Petition for Divorce.  If your spouse signs the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt and returns it to you, your spouse has notice of your Petition for Divorce and your case proceeds without having to have your spouse served by a process server or the marshal.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.