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How Do You Serve Your Spouse with Divorce Papers?

In Minnesota, the divorce process is officially known as dissolution of marriage, and it can take place whether spouses agree to it or not. When the parties don’t agree to file for dissolution together, the party seeking the divorce will have to file with the court and then serve their spouse with divorce papers. To be eligible for divorce in Minnesota, at least one of the spouses must have resided in the state for 180 days or longer before the filing. After this time, either party is allowed to file.

The documents informally known as divorce papers are technically called a summons and petition for dissolution of marriage. The person starting the divorce is known as the petitioner. There is no legal benefit to being the person that serves the papers or being the person that gets served with the papers.

Service of process is an essential step in the dissolution process. If your spouse has retained an attorney, the attorney may accept service on behalf of your spouse. If you are not aware of any attorney representing your spouse, you should serve your spouse directly by having someone over the age of 18 hand the papers to your spouse. In the alternative, you can use a process server or you may also be able to get a sheriff to serve the documents to your spouse. Your spouse may also agree to accept the documents in lieu of personal service by signing a document called an Acknowledgment of Service.

For help understanding service of process, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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