Do it yourself divorce


Dear divorcethecon:

  1. If he is in prison, my suggestion is that you try to serve him by Sheriff, as they should be able to get the documents to him. I do not know what a “contraband” officer is and why he would only serve for attorneys. I read the rule and registered or certified mail works, as long as you have a return receipt requested. You present the return receipt to the court by doing an Affidavit of Service.

  2. You cannot file the complaint until one year and one day after the date of separation, so yes, you have to wait until after filing the complaint to serve him with a copy.

  3. Yes, but you can also send him an acceptance of service and/or a waiver.

  4. You send the yellow copy. The white copy of the summons is for service by Sheriff and if service by Sheriff is not used, the white copy stays at the Clerk of Court’s office to put in the file. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


I will have been separate one year on Oct 3, 2004. I am trying to do a do it yourself divorce. My questions are as follows:

  1. He is in prison in SC. Only the contraband officer serves disvorce papers and only if you have an attorney. Can I use registered mail and, if so, how do I present the receipt to the court?

  2. Do I have to wait until Oct 3 to serve him?

  3. Do I just need to send a copy of the complaint and civil summons and nothing else?

  4. Do I send a yellow or white copy of the civil summons?

Thank you.