Many people come in for consultations and say, "this is an
uncontested divorce, we agree to everything." My spouse has already filed for
divorce, and has now asked me to sign this "waiver of service" - should I?
The truth is that many people do not realize that there are many issues,
legal issues, that need to be addressed, and resolved. They do not realize
signing the Waiver of Service does several things and some of those things
potentially could be bad.
What is Personal Service?
Every person in Texas that is involved in a lawsuit including a
divorce is entitled to personal service of a copy of the lawsuit that was filed
with the court.
Personal service is what people think of or is talked about on television
as being “served.”
Personal service involves:
- a constable or a private process server coming up to you, saying your name,
and asking for you to confirm that you are that person.
- The process server will hand you a copy of the documents and state, “you
have been served with a lawsuit.”
If you refuse to take the paperwork the process server can drop the paperwork
on the ground and file an affidavit with the court that they served you with the
divorce paperwork and you refused to take it.
What is a Waiver of Service?
Personal service is not the only way to bring a divorcing spouse under
the power of the court so that the court can make orders regarding a married couple.
Alternatively, a person can waive their right to be personally served with
a copy of the lawsuit by signing a Waiver of Service. The waiver of service
must be signed in the presence of a notary, notarized, and then filed
with the Court.
It basically says you do not want to be served by a process server or constable/sheriff
or by certified mail sent by the District Clerk.
This partly means:
- One, you do not want the "citation" to be issued by the District Clerk.
This means you will not need to be served and your clock to file what is
called an "answer" will not start.
Why Would Someone Waiver Service?
Some reasons would someone waive service include:
- It costs money to serve the lawsuit
- It can be embarrassing to be served with a lawsuit
- Time if your and your spouse are agreed and cooperating it can save time
Waivers can have their benefits in an agreed
divorce case, but it is important that you understand what you are agreeing to before
you sign a waiver.
Should I sign a Waiver of Service?
I would strongly caution a spouse going through a
divorce not sign a Waiver of Service.
One reason is that there different types of waiver of service and some
are what is known as a universal “Waiver Service” which has
clauses included in the waiver of service that will affect your rights
in relation to the divorce or other court proceedings.
Some of the bad waivers out there that once you sign them amount to you
telling the Judge in this case:
- that you do not want to be served by a process server or constable/sheriff
- You do not need to be made aware of any court dates and
- The Judge can sign whatever orders your spouse presents the judge without
further notice to you in other words
- Your spouse wins
What Should I file instead of a Waiver of Service?
Generally it is a better idea to:
- File an answer and
- counterpetition in your case.
This is vital if there is something within the marriage that you may want
to be confirmed yours.
There could be
separate property, issues concerning children of the marriage,
community property or even community debt that you are telling the Court you do not care
what happens to it.
Signing a bad waiver of service is a serious issue. You can lose property
rights, child custody rights, and can even take all the debt.
For those reasons and more you still think you should signing a waiver
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested on regarding the default judgments include:
- What does a Default Judgment Mean in a Texas Divorce?
- What Happens if my Ex-Spouse Refuses to Sign the Final Decree of Divorce Revisited
- What if My Ex Will Not Sign the Final Decree in My Texas Divorce?
- I have been served with Divorce Papers - What do I do now in Texas?
- How to Draft and File an Answer to a Texas Divorce - Free Downloadable Forms
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- Waivers - To sign or not to sign? The answer is don't do it!
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- What is mediation?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with ar
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing
a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and