The first step in the divorce process is filing a Complaint for Divorce with the Court. The next step is to have the Complaint (and Summons from the Court) served on your spouse. This lets your spouse know that papers have been filed at the courthouse to start the divorce process. It also lets them know what is being asked for and how much time they have to respond. 

For the divorce to proceed, the court will need proof that your spouse was served with the Complaint and Summons. With an uncontested divorce, spouses often will agree to sign and notarize a form entitled “Acceptance of Service and a Waiver of Further Notice.” This verifies that he or she actually received the Complaint, and that they waive any further notice of filing the Final Order of Divorce. If your spouse agrees to sign it, that’s great, and it’s the best, least expensive option, although some people may procrastinate in actually signing or getting it back to you with their notarized signature. 

Another way to serve your spouse is to have a local Deputy Sheriff go to their home or office and p15ersonally hand them the paperwork. The Sheriff’s Office is usually busy, so this is not the fastest way to get service on a spouse. Virginia Family Law Center utilizes the services of private process servers. With a private process server, you can be assured that service on your spouse will be very fast, and you will be able to learn exactly when they were served. In addition, private process service gives you an opportunity to provide information as to when and where your spouse is likely to be located at any given time. This usually helps to expedite the service of process.