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Can a civilian spouse serve the divorce papers to a commanding officer?

That may not be sufficient to meet the statutory requirements for service of process. Additionally, military commanders have no duty or responsibility for serving process to a service member, either on or off the military base or post. Sometimes, a military official will give the service member the opportunity to accept process, upon reasonable request.

In this situation, the papers would be sent to the commanding officer with a request that the papers be served. The spouse would be allowed to talk to a military legal assistance lawyer before making the decision to accept service of process.