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How long does a person have to serve a summons after filing for a dissolution?

Everett, WA |

My husband and his attorney have been unable to serve me with the summons papers. Do they expire, and if so, what would be the last date they could serve me with the summons to keep it valid? My husband had the papers drawn up by an attorney on March 23, 2010, and they filed for the first available court date, supposedly in November 2010.

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Attorney answers 1


In WA, a person cannot really avoid being divorced. There may be delays, but eventually, the court will sign the final orders.

If the husband can show that you cannot be found after taking diligent efforts to find and serve you the summons and petition, the court likely will authorize alternate ways of service (such as by publication in a qualifying newspaper).

If the husband does nothing after filing the petition with the clerk, after 5-6 months, the court will set a hearing to check on the status of the case. If no one shows up for the hearing, the case may be dismissed for lack of action. Either spouses may file a new case after dismissal.

You may want to review your specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.

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