What Can I do if I Can't Find my Spouse or Partner to Give
Him or Her a Copy of my Divorce Papers?

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Every person who is being affected by a court case has a constitutional right to be notified of the proceedings. This is called "service of process" and is required for each document that is filed with the court.

Some documents have to be delivered in person, while others can be delivered by mail. In any case, you cannot serve your own documents. You may hire a professional process server or get a friend to serve the documents for you.

Contact a lawyer if:

  • You don't know where your spouse or domestic partner is;
  • Your spouse or domestic partner is in the military, in jail, or living out of state; or
  • You're having a difficult time serving the forms.

See the California Self Help Center Opens new window for help finding a lawyer anywhere in the state.

In some counties the Family Law Facilitator Opens new window can help you with these problems.

If you live in Contra Costa County, see the Office of the Family Law Facilitator Opens new window 

For help finding a lawyer, see the Contra Costa County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service. Opens new window





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