Is there an expiration date on papers filed for a divorce that have not been served to a spouse?

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Is there an expiration date on papers filed for a divorce that have not been served to a spouse?

My marriage wasn’t legal; my spopuse founf out that he wasn’t divorced after we got married. I was told I still had to get a divorce from him. He has remarried but I want to make sure everything is right before I remarry. I filed divorce papers a year ago then moved to and wasn’t able to send the papers to the civil dept in OH where he lives. Do I have to redo the papers or can I still send them to OH and serve him?

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You really need to speak with an attorney in your area on this matter or at the very least the clerk of the court.   Every state has statutes that allow for service of papers.  Some states, though, have statutes that require that you file the papers in court, purchase an index number and then serve them on the parties within a certain time frame (120 days for example).  If you have not served them within the time frame you have to ask the court for more time to do so.  Otherwise the service is not valid.  You seem to really be trying to do the right thing here and that is commendable.  Go and see an attorney for help with this final step to closing this chapter in your life.  It will e worth the consultation in the long run.  Good luck. 


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