Options for Serving Divorce Paperwork in Minnesota

After you have prepared and filed all the necessary paperwork for a Minnesota divorce, you must then serve your spouse with those documents. The service process is quite important, as it provides legal notice of the court action and gives the person being served an opportunity to appear and provide his or her own point of view.

Where you send the paperwork depends on whether your spouse already has legal counsel. If your spouse does not have a lawyer, you should serve the paperwork at your spouse’s home address. If he or she has already retained an attorney, you should serve the attorney, instead of sending the paperwork directly to your spouse.

There are various special service rules in Minnesota by which you must abide. For instance, you have two simple options for service:

  • Acknowledgment of Service: If you are reasonably sure your spouse will cooperate, you can mail out the documents and include an Acknowledgment of Service form, which your spouse must sign. Include a return envelope with a stamp. After you get the acknowledgment form back, file it in court. If your spouse does not sign, you will need someone else to serve the documents for you.
  • Seek outside service: If you would rather avoid waiting for your spouse to sign an Acknowledgment of Service form, you can ask a sheriff’s department, professional process server, or friend or relative to locate your spouse and personally hand him or her a copy of the court summons and divorce petition. The person that hands the paperwork over then fills out an Affidavit of Service, which then gets filed with the local court that has jurisdiction over the divorce case.

For more information and guidance on serving divorce paperwork in Minnesota, contact an experienced divorce lawyer with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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