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Can I serve my spouse the divorce papers?

Bronx, NY |

Can I serve my spouse the divorce papers or somebody else has to do it?

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Filed under: Divorce
Attorney answers 4


Since you are an interested party, you cannot, in this situation, serve your husband.

You should have a third party, most preferably a process server, serve your husband and have him file the Affidavit of Service with Court. You must give a current picture of your husband to the process server so he can serve him personally.


No. You are a party to the action. A non-interested adult must serve the papers upon your spouse.

I recommend that you use a licensed process server. I also recommend that you consult with an attorney, as divorce is a complicated matter.


You may not need to use a licensed process server. It depends on whether you can afford to use one (times are tough), and also on your relationship with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. If s/he is not going to fight the divorce and won't say s/he never got the papers, you can choose to have a friend or relative serve him/her without too much risk of messing up the case.

The key is to make sure that the person who serves (1) can identify him/her (knows him/her); (2) asks him/her if she is in the military (weird question but it is required) and (2) fills out an affidavit of service in front of a notary, immediately. There is a form for the affidavit of service on the Unified Court System website.

Good luck.


No, you can't personally serve your spouse with divorce papers. Someone else needs to do it. Person serving papers has to be a process server or a person 18 years of age or older.

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