If someone is asking you to sign a Waiver of Service, think carefully before doing it. You may be asked to do this if you are involved in any lawsuit including divorce.
What is Waiver of Services in Texas?
The thing is that anyone involved in any lawsuit is entitled to a personal service of a copy of the lawsuit that was filed with the court. Personal service is what people usually refer to as being “served”.
Personal Service in Texas
You should not fear being “served” because it is a simple and quick process. It involves three things:
- A constable or private process server may walk up to you in public or knock on your door and call your name, and then ask you to confirm that you are that person
- Then the constable will hand you a copy of the documents and inform you that you have been served with a lawsuit
- The process server will drop the paperwork on the ground if you refuse to take. Then the process server will file an affidavit with the court that you refused to take the divorce paperwork
Waiving Your Rights
Personal service is just one way of bringing a divorce spouse under the power of the court so that the court can make orders regarding the married couple.
A spouse can waive their right to be personally served with a copy of the divorce lawsuit by signing a Waiver of Service. They do this by signing the waiver of service in the presence of a notary, notarized, and then filing it with the court. Signing this document is basically saying that you do not want to be served by a process server or constable or by certified mail sent by the District Clerk.
What people do not realize is that a Waiver of Service may have additional clauses in it that may affect your rights in relation to the divorce or other court proceedings. If you want to sign a Waiver of Service, you should read it carefully to ensure you are not waiving any of your other rights.
Why People Waive Service
Some people sign a waiver of service because it costs money to serve the lawsuit and being served can be embarrassing especially if it happens in public.
Do not sign a waiver that states that you don’t want to be served by a constable or sheriff or process server. You should also not sign the waiver if it states that you do not want to be made aware of any court dates, and that the judge can sign any orders your spouse presents without you being notified.
These kinds of waivers only raise the chances of your spouse getting more out of the divorce case than you.
So instead of signing the waiver, just contact an attorney that can help you prepare an adequate response. You may also launch a counter petition against the divorce petition filed by your spouse. This is extremely important if there is significant property or children or both in the marriage.