Better Call Glew: Divorce Edition
Jay Brockman

Better Call Glew: Divorce Edition

Hi Mr. Glew,

I am trying to divorce my husband but my attorney has been unable to serve him. I am pretty sure he is intentionally avoiding service.

Is there any advantage he can gain from avoiding being served?  What do I do if I am unable to serve him?

There is no real strategic advantage to your husband avoiding service, unless he is trying to establish residency in another state. More likely, your husband is attorney shopping and wants his attorney, once retained, to have the full 30 days in which to respond. On the other-hand, your husband simply may not be ready to call it quits. More often than not, the latter is the motivation to avoid service.

See also:

If your attorney, after diligently trying to serve your husband, is still unable to serve the petition for dissolution of marriage, you can sub-serve your husband by serving the paperwork on any person 18 years or older at your husband's home or office, and mailing a copy of the paperwork to your husband. Another option is service by publication.

Remember, you only have 60 days after filing to serve your husband, but even if you go outside the 60 day limit, a court is unlikely to take any action or dismiss the case.  However, to expedite a new beginning in your life, I would continue trying to serve your husband, and if all else fails, sub-serve him.

Send all questions to And remember, Better Call Glew!

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