Serving Divorce Papers in Texas
The Necessity of Service
Serving divorce papers is a necessary step in virtually every marriage dissolution. Because of due process rights, divorce proceedings cannot move forward unless the Respondent (i.e., the Petitioner’s spouse) is formally notified of the pending marriage dissolution and given an opportunity to respond.
There are some exceptions when it comes to the necessity of formally serving the Respondent, however. The most common exception involves a waiver signed by the Respondent. In many cases, the filing of a Petition for Divorcedoes not come as a surprise to the responding spouse. In fact, many spouses agree to waive service of process entirely to expedite the dissolution of their marriage.
Additionally, if the Respondent is aware of the filing and files their own answer in the case, this affirmative act is treated as service by the court. Essentially, active participation in the dissolution of a marriage is the same as a waiver.
Options for Service
For personal service, the Petitioner must make use of a third party such as a private process server or constable to serve divorce papers on their behalf. During personal service, the process server or constable will deliver a copy of the divorce documents directly to the Respondent outside their home, at work, or in a public place.
It is also possible to provide service through certified mail. With this method, the Petitioner may request the court clerk to mail the divorce papers to the Respondent along with a return receipt. If the return receipt indicates that the Respondent signed for the divorce papers, the court will consider service to be complete. There are risks to using this method, however, as service will not be complete if the return receipt is signed by someone other than the Respondent.
In cases where the Petitioner is unable to track down their spouse, the court may allow service by posting a formal notice in a public place or online or by publishing it in a newspaper.
The Help Needed to Handle Your Own Divorce
Our easy-to-use, online divorce forms allow you to handle your divorce without an attorney, but you must first prepare and file the Petition, then give proper notice to your spouse to begin the process.
Our step-by-step instructions will help you every step of the way, making serving divorce papers in Texas a breeze and saving you time and money as you begin the process of dissolving your marriage. Download our Texas divorce forms today to get started.
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- Log in or create a login.
- Submit information about you and your spouse and the desired outcome of your divorce via our online questionnaire.
- Sign and file your personalized divorce forms.