Divorce papers are served on the other party in California in the same manner as other paperwork related to a court case, according to California Courts. Papers requiring service of process must be given to the other party by an adult who is not a party to the case.
The paperwork must be given to the other side within the required time frame, according to California Courts. The process server must complete a proof of service form detailing who was served, where and when. The proof of service must be filed with the court.
If the whereabouts of the spouse or partner is not known and attempts to locate him are not successful, then the petitioner can request permission of the court to serve the divorce Summons and Petition by publication, according to California Courts. If the court grants permission, then the documents need to be published for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation where the spouse or partner likely is. The newspaper provides an affidavit that the documents were published, and the petitioner files this with the court.
If the spouse or partner has an attorney, then the divorce papers are served at the attorney's office, according to DivorceNet.