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Legal Information: North Dakota

Divorce

Laws current as of December 28, 2023

Step 2. Service of process

After you file your petition, your spouse will have to be served with a copy of the court papers, including the summons and complaint. Being served means giving the papers to your spouse to let him know that you have filed for divorce and that s/he needs to come to court if s/he wants to contest it or be involved in it. If you do not know where your spouse is, there may be other alternatives for how to serve him/her. If you are having trouble serving your spouse, it is highly recommended that you get a lawyer, who can ask the judge for permission for alternate service. To find one in your area, visit our ND Finding a Lawyer page.

Often the sheriff’s department can serve your spouse or you may have to contact a constable or a private process server. Do not attempt to serve the papers yourself.

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?