Accept service for divorce texas

Exception: Your spouse does not need to be served with the initial divorce papers if he or she will voluntarily fill out and sign:. If your spouse will voluntarily fill out and sign an answer or waiver of service, the rest of this article does not apply to you.

You must arrange for a constable, sheriff, private process server, or the court clerk to serve the initial divorce papers. You can have a constable, sheriff, private process server, or the court clerk serve your spouse with the initial divorce papers using one of these methods. The constable, sheriff, or private process server will:. You should only use service by registered or certified mail if you know that your spouse will sign for the certified letter.

If someone else signs for the letter or your spouse does not sign his or her name exactly as it is written on your Original Petition for Divorce , you will have to pay another fee and have your spouse served a different way. You can ask the judge for permission to serve your spouse another way if the constable, sheriff, or private process server:. You must file a Motion for Substituted Service and a Rule b Affidavit from the constable, sheriff or private process server.

If the judge is convinced that your spouse can be found at the location where service was attempted, the judge can sign an Order for Substituted Service that authorizes the constable, sheriff, or private process server to:. This method of service is used if you cannot find your spouse after looking really hard , and there are no children involved. This method of service is used if you cannot find your spouse after looking really hard , and there are children involved.

As a general rule, only the initial divorce papers citation, petition and any other papers you file with the petition need to be served by a constable, sheriff, private process server or the court clerk.

How to file Texas Divorce Forms Online

You can serve the rest of the papers yourself. Send a copy of any other papers you file in the case to your spouse. Once the divorce papers have been signed and notarized or the time limit for the defendant to respond has passed, the next step in the process is to file the divorce papers with the court clerk's office in the county where the plaintiff lives.

Once the papers have been filed with the court, the question, "How long does an uncontested divorce take?

The amount of time it will take to finalize the divorce by having a judge approve and sign the judgment can take anywhere from six weeks to 12 months. Your lawyer or the court clerk's office in the county where you want to file for divorce may be able to give you an answer about how long an uncontested divorce takes to process in your area. The best they will be able to do is give you an estimate. Once the divorce judgment has been signed, there may be a waiting period where neither party can remarry in certain jurisdictions. This would be the time where either person can file an appeal of the divorce judgment.

Your attorney would be able to advise whether this provision applies in your case. How do I serve him by publication if I don't know where he is?


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Han's Question : My husband left me without saying anything and settled in the US. I have filed a divorce petition, and we tried searching him but could not find him. We could not summon him through postal notice and we have permission to summon him through newspaper publication. I don't have much idea about USA newspapers, can you suggest any daily national newspaper which can publish this notice.

It's really the only national newspaper. There are other papers that are local in nature but are read widely throughout the country like the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, etc.

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How to Serve the Initial Divorce Papers

My friends tell me I can't be divorced if I was never served. Debbie's Question : I was married 25 years ago. My husband abandoned me two years after we married and moved out of state. I had the same job and lived at the same address for the next 8 years. I finally looked him up and talked to him over the phone. I wanted to know if we ever divorced so that I could get a copy of my divorce decree just in case I ever wanted to remarry. He told me that he had divorced me in GA, but has not been able to supply me with the divorce decree.

My friends tell me I can't have a divorce without ever being served. If this is true, when I do divorce him is it based on his assets now or then when he had nothing? Brette's Answer : You have to be served. It's possible he told the court he couldn't locate you and a divorce could have been granted using publication.

You can check the records of the courts in the counties he lived in to be sure. If not, you're still married. Assets are divided as of date of separation, so it would be a simple divorce. What if he doesn't pick up the divorce papers sent via mail service? Marci's Question : If divorce papers were sent via mail, and he did not pick them up, how do I go about getting him served?

What steps do I need to take? Brette's Answer : You simply have another set of them served personally on him. You can hire a process server or read your state personal service laws and get a friend or relative to perform the service for you. What if the post office lost the divorce papers I sent through the mail? Leona's Question : I filed for divorce two months ago.

The papers were mailed certified as instructed, but the post office has lost them. Can I resend another copy or do I need to re-file and pay the fees again? Brette's Answer : You need to check with the court clerk's office to determine the status of the case and what steps you need to take to move it along. Do I have to personally serve him if mail service didn't work? Sarah's Question : I served papers to my spouse where they wrote to me and said they would accept service. It came back because they weren't there. Now I got an email saying they can be sent to another location, but demanding that they be served and not just mailed.

Do I have to honor that? I really can't afford to try and serve papers again and then it comes back bogus again.

How to Serve Someone Divorce Papers in Texas | Filing Divorce in Texas

Brette's Answer : If I were you, I would just have the documents served on him personally and be done with it. How can I serve divorce papers if my husband is in jail? Brette : You'll need to obtain the inmate number call the jail and have his SS. You then have process served by a sheriff or private process server. You can't use certified mail since the inmate cannot sign for it. Can he contest the divorce if papers are served while he's in prison?

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Kisha's Question : My husband is incarcerated. Could he contest the divorce if papers are served to him in prison? If so, does this cost more money? Brette's Answer : Yes he can contest the divorce and unfortunately some prisoners do this to give them a chance to leave the prison to appear in court.

Service may cost a bit more to a prison. Do divorce papers served and signed for in jail need to be notarized? R's Question : If I serve my husband in jail with the divorce papers and he signs them, do the papers have to be notarized? Or can I just go ahead and file in the state that I live in now, and will his signature satisfy the court? Brette : You need to check the court web site to find out what the requirements are, which are different in every state. What happens if I refuse the service of divorce papers? Angela's Question : He wants a divorce and we don't have anything to separate or any minor kids.

What happens if I refuse to accept papers or dodge the service? Brette's Answer : If you refuse to accept service, there are other methods available the court can order and you may not receive notice about the court date and miss it.