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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

How must you serve divorce papers?

Your marriage probably seems like an intimate and personal matter between you and your husband or wife. Still, before you walked down the aisle, you received permission to marry from the state. The state also has a record of your marriage. As a result, the state has an interest in your divorce.

Ending your marriage essentially requires either you or your spouse to sue the other one. Like with any other lawsuit, the person who files must serve the other person. In Michigan, there are some strict requirements for serving an individual with divorce papers.

Filing the complaint

According to Michigan law, either spouse may file a divorce complaint in circuit court. Filing the complaint starts the process of ending a marriage. However, basic fairness indicates that the person who did not file should know about the divorce and have a reasonable opportunity to respond to it.

Assembling the paperwork

The spouse who files the complaint must serve the other spouse with the summons and complaint. He or she also should provide any other documents that accompanied the divorce filing. It is important to note, though, that the filing spouse only has 91 days to serve the other spouse.

Finding a server

Neither spouse can serve the other with divorce papers, so the filing spouse is going to have to find a process server. This person, who can be a friend, relative, police officer or professional server, must physically hand the divorce paperwork to the non-filing spouse.

In some cases, service can be through the mail or other means. Ultimately, though, because problems with process service can complicate and extend any divorce, it is important to follow the law precisely.