You have probably heard the term waiver. But what is a Texas waiver of service and, specifically, a divorce waiver? If you or your partner is contemplating ending your marriage, your partner or their lawyer may ask you to sign a waiver.
Divorce in Texas allows for the use of a waiver. It is important that you understand what this means, the impact of signing or refusing to sign a Texas divorce waiver of service, and why the help of an attorney is important.
What Does It Mean for Someone to Serve You?
Personal service is commonly referred to as a person being “served.” Being served consists of a local sheriff, 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.” This provides you notice of a pending legal proceeding.
Texas Waiver of Service
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure mandate that a person bringing a civil suit serve the opposing side with notice of a suit against them. In general, a Texas waiver of service is a term the legal system uses to describe when a person signs a statement stating that they do not want to be served with notice regarding a legal matter they are involved in and thereby waive their right to be served.
Waiver of Service, Texas Laws of Divorce
Our laws state that in a divorce every person on the receiving end of a divorce petition is entitled to personal service of a copy of the divorce petition. So if your spouse is filing for a divorce to end your marriage, they must serve you unless you waive this right.
Waiver of Service: Texas Divorce and Options
There are a number of reasons people elect to sign a waiver of service, such as:
- They do not want to be served by a sheriff’s deputy or special process server;
- They believe their divorce will be friendly and easy with no service needed;
- They have already agreed with their spouse on the terms of divorce; and
- Their attorney recommends they do so.
There are of course others who make a different decision and do not sign a divorce waiver. Their reasons may include:
- They have a right to be served and do not want to give up that right;
- They want to be sure of what they are signing and will not do so without an attorney present;
- They are not clear if waiving the service will impact the timeline or aspects of their case; and
- Their attorney tells them not to sign.
If you are going through a Texas divorce, waiver of service is an option. It is not a requirement.
Should You Sign Waiver of Service in Texas?
The answer to this question is to get a lawyer first. Do not sign a waiver without first speaking to a respected divorce attorney. From a legal standpoint, signing a waiver means you voluntarily enter a lawsuit without requiring the opposing party to serve you with a summons and petition. Never give up a right without advice of legal counsel.
A skillful divorce attorney can address your circumstances and any impacts of a waiver of service. Texas law is their specialty and they can advise you in light of these laws. Look for an attorney prior clients rave about and, ideally, who offers a free consultation.
Then your legal counsel can help you make the best decision regarding whether to sign a waiver.
The Larson Law Office
At The Larson Law Office, you will receive personalized attention and excellent legal services. Our firm specializes in divorce and other areas of family law. We are tough and aggressive in representing our clients.
At the same time, we understand the pain and frustration these circumstances can bring and are attentive and responsive to our clients. Erik & Diana Larson, founding attorneys, have been practicing law in Houston, Texas, for over 20 years each, and our firm has an excellent reputation for personal, individualized service. Please contact us today for a free case review.