Service of Process

Once you file your complaint for divorce, due process of law requires that you give notice to your spouse that a lawsuit has been filed and copies of the complaint and summons.  This is called service of process.  Maryland Rule 2-121 provides several different ways to accomplish service of process.

  1. By delivering the suit papers to the other party.
  2. By leaving the suit papers at your spouse’s residence with a resident of suitable age and discretion.
  3. By mailing the suit papers certified mail requesting “Restricted Delivery–show to whom, date, address of delivery.”
  4. When served outside of Maryland, in addition to the above, by any other manner permitted by the other jurisdiction, if reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

The court will also accept service upon a party’s attorney if the attorney is authorized to accept service on behalf of that party.  If a defendant files a response, that shows they have notice of the case and service of process is not required.

Next: What to do if a spouse is evading service.