This is the first in a number of posts I will be making regarding the divorce process. Unless you have been through it before, the divorce process can be confusing. Many do not know what needs to happen when, or what will happen next in their divorce.
The commencement of a divorce is rather simple. Either a Summons with Notice or a Summons and Complaint is filed with the county clerk's office. Currently, a fee of $210.00 is charged for purchase of the index number necessary to commence the action and assign a number to your case.
Once the Summons with Notice is filed, it must be personally served upon the defendant. A party to the action may not serve the defendant. In other words, the plaintiff may not personally serve the defendant. However, if the defendant is cooperating in the divorce process, the defendant may sign an admission of service agreeing that the Summons has been received, and then the defendant need not be personally served. Either an Affidavit of Service form from the personal service or an Admission of Service form signed by the defendant will need to be filed with the county clerk's office.
The defendant has 20 days to serve what is called a "Notice of Appearance" after being personally served or admitting service of the Summons.
In the next post, I will discuss what happens after the Notice of Appearance is served or what happens if the defendant fails to file the Notice.