What Does it Mean to “Serve” Divorce Papers?

Carole Albright

To get divorced in North Carolina a lawsuit has to be filed with the courts and served (meaning formally delivered) to your spouse.  There are three (3) primary ways to serve someone with divorce papers:  by sheriff, certified mail or acceptance of service.  If you do not know where your spouse is staying or working or you have tried all possible leads and you have been unable to get them served, you will need to publish a notice in the local newspaper where your spouse was last known to be living.  This process is called Notice by Publication.  Once you have served your spouse by one of these means, he or she will have up to 60 days to respond to the divorce but they cannot delay the divorce once that 60 days has passed.  If you have questions about how to file or serve your husband or wife with divorce papers, give one of our family law attorneys at Law Firm Carolinasa call at our Charlotte, Greensboro, Wilmington or Triangle offices.

Family Law