Can you serve your spouse with divorce papers?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Divorce

If you have decided to divorce your husband or wife, you might think the end of your marriage is a personal matter between the two of you. Still, just like you had to obtain a marriage license and register your marriage with the state, you must go through a legal process to divorce your husband or wife.

Like other civil actions, divorce requires one spouse to file a lawsuit against the other. Fairness dictates the non-filing spouse should know about the litigation as early as possible so he or she can respond accordingly. This means someone must serve your spouse with divorce papers.

You cannot serve your own papers

Even though you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse might still live under the same roof, you cannot serve your own divorce paperwork. Indeed, according to the Texas State Law Library, only legally authorized individuals can perform in-person service. These individuals include the following:

  • A sheriff
  • A constable
  • A county clerk
  • A private process server

The person who serves divorce papers must complete a form for the court’s records. This form describes when, where and how your spouse actually receives the paperwork.

Your spouse can waive the service of papers

If you intend to proceed with an uncontested divorce, you might not have to find someone to serve your spouse with divorce papers. After all, it is generally possible for a party to a divorce to waive personal service. You even might be able to use certified mail, provided you are confident your husband or wife will accept the mailing.

Ultimately, it is critical to serve your spouse correctly, as problems with the service can cause long delays or even the dismissal of your case.

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