How many days from filing for divorce do you have to serve the respondent? What happens if you don't serve w/in the proper time?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Fife, WA

My spouse filed for divorce in Pierce County over a month ago, but I have not been served papers yet. They know where I live/how to find me.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Dave Hawkins


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . There is no time limit. You may get a copy of the Summons and Petition from the clerk and demand that they serve you.

    Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This... more
  2. Bruce Clement


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If your spouse does not serve you within 90 days, the Court Clerk will probably send out a notice that the court intends to dismiss his case. If you want the case to proceed, get a copy of the pleadings from the Clerk and file a form Acceptance of Service or (if you agree with his proposal) a Joinder. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on divorce and court procedure for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

    This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Divorce court

Divorce court is where the divorce process takes place. The court may determine matters like alimony, child custody, and property division.

Avvo Staff

An Overview of Divorce Court Fees

Just as each state has its own requirements to successfully file for divorce, each state also has its own types of fees and rules for when they will be applied. You may find this overview... more

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