Can I serve divorce papers first to my spouse? 5 Answers as of July 30, 2011

My spouse filed for the divorce but never served me, can I still file and serve first? At first, I was the one who asked for the divorce but she filed right away. I dont think she have no plan to serve the papers.

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Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
Yes, you can file and serve your wife with divorce papers even if she filed first and never served you with the Petition (and related documents). Please note that you cannot personally serve the papers on your wife, unless she agrees to sign a Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt. Rather you need to have a third person over the age of 18 personally serve the Petition (and related documents) on your wife. You should consult with a Family Law Attorney about your case and whether you have options to select a venue different from where your wife filed which may possibly benefit you in your case. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/30/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
It doesn't matter who is the "petitioner" or "respondent." I.e., there is no legal advantage or disadvantage to either. If your wife has already filed for divorce, then she needs to serve you, and you then need to file a response, as well as exchange disclosures, and work on reaching agreements on all relevant issues. It would be best to contact a local family law lawyer for assistance.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/29/2011
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
If you want the divorce, why not just file a response and proceed. However, you would be able to serve her your own papers first based on the defect stated.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/29/2011
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
If you are agreeable to have the divorce in the county where your wife filed, then it makes more sense to just file a response to her petition.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/29/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Yes. The first case to be served s the case that is operative. Or - you can go to the Court, get a copy of your wife's Summons and Petition (and any other documents that she filed), and you can file and serve your Response in her case, even if she hasn't had her case served on you. If you do that, you can proceed to get a divorce under the case that your wife filed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/29/2011
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