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Best Way To Divorce USA Step 2

Best Way To Divorce USA Step 2

Petition Issued / Proceedings issued:


Your spouse must respond within 30 days. The date of service of the Petition and Summons is very important because it commences the mandatory six-month and a day waiting period to obtain a divorce in California. An adult (18 or older) who isn’t a part of the case can serve divorce papers on the other spouse. While you can certainly use the local sheriff’s office or a licensed process server, you can also have a friend or relative assist with this process. It’s never a good idea to involve your adult children in this process, and you are never allowed to serve the papers yourself.

The 30-days runs from the date of service – not the date of filing. Furthermore, if the couple is being cooperative (which hopefully they are), service is typically effectuated by the spouse signing a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt. The 30 days starts running from the day that document was signed.  

Best Way To Divorce

Key Resources

Best Way To Divorce: Step 2 – 

Respondent Acknowledges Receipt Of Forms











Serving The Papers And Response

The server must serve filed copies of your Petition, Summons, and if applicable, your UCCJEA. In addition, your server must give the other side the documents needed to respond to the divorce. This includes a blank Response (FL-120), and if you filed the UCCJEA, you will also need to provide a blank copy..


Personal Service

Personal service happens when your server personally hands your spouse the divorce papers and blank response form or forms. That doesn’t mean it has to be a surprise or done in an embarrassing manner, as the date and time of service can be scheduled. You do not have to serve your spouse in a public venue, such as their place of employment. Embarrassing your spouse or trying to inflict pain is rarely a good choice. While it may make you feel better initially, you may come to regret your decision when it causes further conflict and increased litigation. Finally, at all costs, avoid having your spouse served in front of your children.


Service By Mail

Service can also happen by mail. This requires your spouse to sign a document acknowledging service of the divorce papers. This form is called a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt (FL-117) , and your spouse has 20 days after receiving the divorce papers to sign and return it to you. Remember, even if you are serving by mail, you still have to use an adult-aged third party.

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Legal and Dispute Resolution Support

The lawyers on my Directory are all trained in some form of dispute resolution (ie. they want to help you to stay out of court). That includes mediators, collaborative divorce practitioners and arbitrators.

And don’t forget about changing your Will!

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  • Collaborative Law
  • Arbitration


Financial Experts

Whether you need an accountant, or a highly qualified financial planner – you can access those experts here……..

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Counselling and Coaching and Parenting

Need emotional support? Or a bit lost about what’s going to happen next? Worried about the kids?

Have a no-obligation chat (or some even offer whole discovery sessions) with our experts here……

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What Does A Divorce Strategist Do, Exactly?

Through my own experience of family break up, of not having any legal protection (no living together agreement), and watching my married friends get divorced and the misery and cost and conflict that came about, I felt a need to share what I have learned.

I created live events to help families to be more resilient; a Directory of Experts focused on non-adversarial ways to divorce (mediation, collaborative law – all keeping people out of court); and a way to create a Living Together Life Plan and Agreement so those who don’t marry will not end up in the situation I found myself in.

And as the Alternative Divorce Guide and the UK’s (possibly only) Divorce Strategist, I am always happy to guide people towards the right person to talk to at the right time, and offer them a wealth of resources through my online CoParenting in a Box.

Because I am an ‘independent voice’ and professional speaker and campaigner for better ways to divorce, I’m often asked for my opininions on divorce-related issues by journalists.

“Suzy was able to offer really important and comforting advice on the whole process and offer positive alternatives to help guide me through this stressful time. Her contact list is extensive and she was able to put me in touch with a many great people who were also able to offer guidance and make the process much less painless. I’m really glad I met her and feel like my journey through this difficult period has been much more positive because of it”  


“Wow you are an amazing resource Suzy!!

I liked the way things are set out. I like the information, it makes sense. And it is supportive

Thank you so muc


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The information and videos on this guide applies to England and Wales only. The law may be different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. We have simplified things in this guide. Please don’t rely on this guide as a complete statement of the law. We recommend you try and get advice from the sources we have suggested.