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What Should I do if the Divorce Papers I Tried to Serve My Spouse Came Back as Undeliverable?

divorce attorneys in Grand Rapids, MI

Before the divorce process can be initiated, both parties must be made aware of the hearing.

When a person decides to file for divorce in Grand Rapids, MI, they must properly notify, or in legal terms “serve” their spouse in writing notifying them of their intentions. There is a very specific process that must be followed when serving a spouse with divorce papers and a divorce attorney is the professional you want to help you do this. If you do not notify your spouse of your intention to divorce him or her in a way that adheres to state law, your notice will likely be considered invalid and you will be required to start from the beginning.

Now, if you did follow the process the State requires you to follow but your divorce papers could not be served, it could be because you sent the information to the wrong address or “the whereabouts of the person to be served is unknown.” When this happens, your hearing to resolve your matter shall be delayed until “it can be proven to the court that both parties know about the hearing or that every effort was made to serve the court papers.” Simply sending the initial notice to your spouse to notify him or her of your intentions will not suffice to the court that you have made every effort to serve the court papers.

So, what are you to do when your divorce documents cannot be served to your spouse? The Michigan Courts website recommends that you do the following:


  • Find the current address of the other person.
  • In the event there are less than nine days before your original hearing date, go ahead and cancel that date and schedule a new one.
  • Obtain new court forms and fill them out. This time, be sure to send them to the new address.
  • If you were unable to find a new address for your spouse, cancel the original hearing date and file a motion with the court for alternate service.


It is important to understand that the court will only provide you with minimal guidance and assistance. You shouldn’t expect to receive any type of advice or legal help from the court as that is not its role. If you are struggling to locate your spouse in order to serve him or her with your intent to divorce, your best bet is to contact a Grand Rapids, MI divorce lawyer. The attorneys at Gordon & Hess, PLC are some of the best lawyers in the Grand Rapids area who have the knowledge and ability to help you get your divorce papers filed as well as get your matter resolved. If you would like to find out what this divorce law firm can do for you, contact them now at 616-272-3331.

divorce law firms in Grand Rapids, MI

If you are having difficultly locating your spouse so that you can serve him or her with divorce papers, speak with a divorce lawyer in Grand Rapids to find out what can be done to expedite the process.

Although you may be struggling at the moment to locate your spouse to serve him or her with divorce papers, there are alternative methods a lawyer can use to notify him or her that you wish to file for divorce. To find out what these are, speak with a Grand Rapids, MI divorce lawyer in your area now.


Gordon & Hess, PLC is located at:


McKay Tower

146 Monroe Center St. NW #1225

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-272-3331

Website: www.gordonhess.com

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