Once you’ve begun the divorce paperwork and started the whole process, the next step after your petition is filed is to serve your spouse. Serving the paperwork basically means that you are physically handing the divorce petition to your spouse for them to sign and have returned to the court. But how exactly does this work? One question you may have is, "can I serve my own divorce papers?"
You Cannot Serve Your Spouse Yourself
Oregon law does not allow for a person to serve their spouse by themselves. In fact, anyone who is named in the divorce paperwork cannot serve the opposite party. So in order to serve your spouse divorce paperwork, you must go through an approved method of service.
One method accepted by Oregon law is to have a legal official such as a local sheriff physically hand your spouse the paperwork at your house. You can also hire a private process server to deliver your paperwork for an additional fee.
Be aware that having someone deliver the paperwork to your door or your spouse’s door can cause a great deal of embarrassment for the receiving spouse, particularly if the sheriff is delivering the papers.
Spouse Pick Up
If your spouse is in agreement with the divorce, then you can have them drive to the court or your lawyer’s office to pick up the petition and sign what is known as an Acceptance of Service. This document serves no legal purpose other than to have the spouse acknowledge that they are receiving the legal paperwork.
Another option to serve your spouse is to mail the petition to them along with an Acceptance of Service form and instructions on how to send that form back to the court or lawyer’s office. Similar to the pick-up method, this option of service is easier if your spouse is on board with the divorce.
Use Your Attorney
Your attorney’s office is a great resource to help you not only file the petition for divorce but also to serve your spouse the paperwork. Levine Law Center LLC has helped many clients begin the process and has assisted in serving divorce petitions throughout Oregon.
The short answer to the question of, "can a spouse serve divorce papers" is that Oregon law does not allow for this, but you have several other options to work with.