Heidi E. Opinsky

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How to Serve Your Spouse Divorce Papers in CT

If you’ve decided to divorce your spouse, you will need to file a divorce petition and have it personally served to them. Connecticut divorce lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky discusses various options for serving your spouse with divorce papers below. 

Options for Serving Your Spouse Divorce Papers in CT 

There are a few different options for serving your spouse with divorce papers in CT. There are certain laws that dictate how your spouse must be served; if they are not served correctly, a Connecticut Superior Court may decide it was the same as not having served them at all. 

It’s important to reach out to an experienced Connecticut divorce attorney to learn more about what options you have to serve your spouse with divorce papers in CT and how to get experienced legal help during the process of dissolving your marriage. 

Ask a Family Member or Friend  

Contrary to popular belief, you can have a friend or family member serve your spouse with divorce papers so long as they’re not involved in the divorce. For example, if a friend witnessed an incident of domestic violence between you and your spouse and provided a statement for the judge or police, they would not be eligible to serve your divorce papers. 

But a cousin that has only seen your spouse at a few extended family gatherings might be an ideal choice. To serve divorce papers in CT, all the friend or family member needs to do is personally hand the papers to your spouse. They know who your spouse is and can verify that they served the correct person. 

Contact Your Local Police Department   

You may also be able to contact your local police department or sheriff’s office and ask if they can have an officer serve your divorce papers. Typically this does have an associated cost, especially if the officer must travel a long distance to serve the papers to your spouse. 

Generally, you need to know where your spouse is to have the sheriff or police serve them because they will require a definitive location and address where they need to go. In most cases, the police cannot help you locate your spouse to serve the divorce papers in CT if you don’t already know where they are. 

If you choose to have the police serve your divorce papers, you’ll need to make sure that your spouse is located within the jurisdiction of your local department or you’ll need to contact the police department that presides over the jurisdiction where your spouse lives in. 

Hire a Professional Process Server or Private Investigator   

You can also hire a professional process server to formally serve your spouse. This is a person who specifically serves legal documents to the appropriate parties. They may go into your spouse’s place of business disguised as a customer or approach your spouse in a public place. Usually, they will ask, “Are you [spouse’s name]?” When your spouse confirms their identity, the process server will hand them your divorce papers and your spouse will have been served. 

If you don’t know where your spouse is, you may want to consider the option of hiring a private investigator to determine their location. This may be particularly useful if your spouse is hiding and is attempting to dodge being served. A private investigator has the experience, tools, and resources to locate missing individuals, even if they don’t want to be found. 

Publish a Notice in Your Local Newspaper 

If you don’t know where your spouse is to have them served and they cannot be located by a private investigator, you may be able to proceed with your divorce after you have published a notice in your local newspaper. After a certain period of time, if your spouse does not respond to the notice, you may be eligible for what is called a “divorce by publication.” 

To do this, you need to fill out an Affidavit of Diligent Search and submit it to the court to show you made every effort to locate your spouse and have them properly served with divorce papers in CT. This includes having published a newspaper notice. 

Get Help Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers in CT 

If you’re thinking about getting divorced and want to learn more about how to serve your spouse with divorce papers in CT, you need to speak with a knowledgeable CT divorce lawyer. Heidi Opinsky is a veteran family attorney that can provide you with the comprehensive legal representation you need. Call now for an appointment at 203-653-3542.

Locations served in Connecticut: 



New Canaan