Filed the first necessary papers for divorce. Spouse would not accept or sign for them, they were sent certified. What do I file now?

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Filed the first necessary papers for divorce. Spouse would not accept or sign for them, they were sent certified. What do I file now?

We have been separated almost 17 years

Asked on October 17, 2016 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A spouse filing for divorce must give notice of the legal proceeding to the other spouse. As a general rule, personal notice is required, however if the non-filing spouse does not accept the  papersnotice, the divorce can still proceed. The courts allow other ways for the notification requirement to be satisfied by alternate service. In other words, you don't need them to sign in order to serve them. Once "served", they then have to reply within a certain amount of time. If they doe not, you can proceed with a "divorce by default". Each state has rules about how you go about filing for a default divorce but it can be done. Basically, it will be granted on the terms that you request. 


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