Serve your Response to divorce papers

Once you've completed your Response, you must notify your spouse (or domestic partner) by formally delivering copies of the paperwork. The court calls this service or serving papers.   

This is done by mail service. This means another adult, not you, mails a copy of your Response to your spouse. This person is your server. Your server must sign a form saying they mailed the papers. You file this form with the court. 

How to serve your Response by mail

  • Choose a server

    You can't serve papers yourself. Ask another adult – a server – to mail the papers.   

    Your server must be: 

    • 18 or over, and 

    • Not part of your case 

    Your server can be someone you know or a professional process server you hire. 

  • Have your server mail the papers

    Your server mails the these papers to your spouse:

    • Copy of your Response
    • Any other papers you filed (except any fee waivers)

    If they have a lawyer, mail the papers to their lawyer. Tell your server to note the date they mailed the papers. Your server needs this date to fill out the Proof of Service form.

    Use regular first class mail. 

    Don't use certified mail. This requires getting the other person's signature which is sometimes hard to do.
  • Have your server complete the Proof of Service form

    You can use Proof of Service by Mail (form FL-335). It helps if you fill in the top part of the form with the case and court information. Your server can then fill in the information about how, when, and where they mailed the papers. Your server must sign and date the form.

  • Copy and file the Proof of Service form

    • Make a copy of your Proof of Service form.
    • File the original and copy with the court where you filed the papers. The court will stamp and return the copy.
    • Keep the copy of the Proof of Service form for your records.

Once you've filed and served the Response, you've completed the first part of a your case.

Respond to divorce papers

What's next?

Once you’ve served your Response, file it with the court if you haven't already done that.

For the next part of the divorce process, you and your spouse or domestic partner must exchange financial information. This is called completing financial disclosures

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