Can divorce papers be served at work?

Tags: Getting Started

By Steffan Lawson

Published Jul 22, 2022

If you’re in the process of filing a divorce and looking for the best place to serve your spouse, read on.

Can divorce papers be served at work? Yes, you can serve divorce papers to someone’s place of employment but it may not be the best choice depending on the place of employment and method of serving. If your spouse is at fault or not, initiating a divorce while someone is at work can create a very angry spouse, which can result in a long and costly divorce.

Here are a few reasons why you may or may not want to go forward with serving a spouse at work.

Serving a spouse at work by way of Sheriff

Let’s imagine, that a spouse did something bad where the relationship can not be repaired. He’s at work and a Sheriff walks in and asks the front desk if he’s in. Everyone in the office is looking and wondering what is going on and then your spouse see’s the receptionist points right at him as the eyes of the whole office are now fixed on him. The sheriff walks up and serves him the paperwork and the embarrassment and humiliation can be seen all over his face.

To an upset spouse that wants some type of revenge, there would be nothing like making him/her pay for the wrongdoing they’ve done to you, but there is a problem. Your spouse may have had some form of remorse but now they have been embarrassed and are more willing to fight teeth and nails moving forward.

Sometimes having a sheriff serve your spouse is not always the best thing because they have limited hours in which they can serve a spouse (Think 8 am to 5 pm). This will almost guarantee that your spouse will be served while they’re at work.

Instead of using a local Sheriff, use a serving company because they are more able to handle every type of sensitive situations, and can even attempt to arrange home servicing! They are professionals and know how to deal with just about any situation, so use them when you can to eliminate the headache of worrying about when and where to serve a spouse divorce papers.

You Don’t Know Where Your Spouse Lives

If you and your spouse have recently split and you are unaware of their address at the time of filing, it may be your best option to serve them at work. The one thing that you can avoid is using a sheriff to help reduce the embarrassment of a sheriff showing up. But if you and your spouse are in complete disagreement about the divorce, this may not matter to some.

Your Spouse is a Public Figure

Whether they’re a person in some form of a political office position, it may serve you both better to have a private servicing company take care of this. Some process serving companies are very open to taking instructions on the best places and times you request. Staying out of the public spotlight, whether local or national should be your number one motivation if you and your spouse both understand where your marriage is and have agreed to divorce prior to filing. If you both are not on the same page, it’s totally your choice and may not matter in any case but an attorney can provide you guidance on that.

Your Spouse Travels a lot

If your spouse is a truck driver, flight attendant, journalist or any profession that requires a lot of traveling, it might be best to try and serve your spouse anywhere you can. If you know they’re in town or at their office, try serving them right away and the best option may be a private serving company to help get things moving right away.

I know it can be the best choice to serving a spouse at work because you know he/she will always be there, it’s typically best to use a process serving company to make things simple. As stated above, they handle these situations regularly and will be more willing to serve him/her as they are leaving or arriving at the office.

Most people never realize that serving a spouse while at work could have its negatives, it’s important to understand that your only goal at this point should be getting away from your marriage with the least amount of issues, and as quickly as possible.

Using a local Sheriff vs Process Server

9 out of 10 times a process server will be able to handle your case much faster because that is their profession, and a Sheriff’s daily job is full of tasks and unforeseen emergencies that will add more time to the process. Additional best of all when you use a process server, the cost varies about $25 dollars more (Typical cost range from $45 – $70). You can also hire a process server to do same day delivery which is not possible if you have a local Sheriff handle this. Overall, spending a few extra bucks on using a process server is definitely the best route to go.

How Are Divorce Papers Served?

Anyone over the age of 18 can legally serve divorce papers to a spouse. In some states, it’s totally okay for a friend or even a relative to serve the paperwork, and in other states it’s not a possibility. In other states a process server who is not a professional, a person will have to get approval from a local court.

Additionally, in most states a person can serve a spouse by sending the divorce papers in the mail via certified mail with a return receipt. Under situations where you have exhausted all possibilities of delivery the paperwork to a spouse, a court can grant permission to publish to do service by way of a newspaper publication.

For more information, check with your local county courthouse and if you’re in the process of filing a divorce, try using a divorce service like mydivorcepapers that offers serving services along with helping you fill out the paperwork.