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1. How are divorce papers served in Texas?

Divorce papers can be served using a number of methods throughout the state of Texas. You can hire the local sheriff to serve the papers for you, but this method takes a little bit longer because the sheriff’s office is usually inundated with numerous civic requests and obligations. Plus, the sheriff is confined to working within a set number of hours per day. You can also use certified or regular mail to send the divorce papers to your spouse. Your best bet, however, is to hire a certified professional process server to deliver the divorce papers for you as this is the most reliable option.

2. How long do I have to be separated from my spouse before I can file for divorce in Texas?

Legal separation isn’t mandatory in the state of Texas. That means there’s no minimum amount of time that you and your spouse need to be separated in order to file for divorce. Even if you’re still living together, you can file for divorce.

3. Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?

Yes, you can absolutely file for divorce without a lawyer, but it’s highly inadvisable as most divorce cases can be quite complex. There are a lot of legal stipulations that must be adhered to, not to mention the fact that you could risk losing custody of your children as well as the rights to your property and other financial assets. Having an experienced lawyer to answer all of your questions and concerns as well as explaining all of your options to you is a huge advantage.

4. Can I serve the divorce papers myself?

Serving divorce papers in Texas involves adhering to a great deal of legal provisions and deadlines. For this reason, the state of Texas doesn’t allow citizens to deliver their own divorce papers. You must either hire a sheriff/constable, a private process server, or an adult over the age of 18 that’s not personally connected to the case in any way, shape, or form.

5. Who can serve and file divorce papers in Texas?

Your local sheriff, constable, a private process server, or an adult over the age of 18 that’s not connected to the case are all legally permitted to serve and file divorce papers on your behalf.

6. Where do I go to get divorce papers in Texas?

The first step to initializing the divorce process in Texas is to visit your local courthouse to request and file a petition. Once you place this request, the court clerk must then deliver the copies of the petition to the local sheriff or a private process server if you’ve appointed one.

7. What is an original petition for divorce in Texas?

An original petition for divorce in Texas is basically the equivalent of you asking for permission from the local court system to legally divorce your spouse. The petition serves as a request to have your court presided over by a local judge in a court of law.

8. What is a waiver of service in Texas?

A waiver of service is proof that the legal documents pertaining to your divorce were delivered to and received by your spouse. The person being presented with the divorce papers must sign this document and file it with the local court system. It informs the courts that the defendant has received the notice of an impending divorce or lawsuit and accepts the terms to proceed with the case.

9. How much does it cost to serve divorce papers in Texas?

There’s a $300 fee for filing a divorce petition in the state of Texas, although this fee may vary from one county to another. The cost of hiring a process server in Texas to serve the divorce papers on your behalf varies depending on a number of mitigating factors. A routine service that takes place within the first five to seven days of the petition filing can cost as low as $20. However, if complications arise and it takes several attempts to locate the receiving party, that fee can be much higher with the national average being $45-$100.

10. How long does it take to be served with divorce papers in Texas?

After requesting and filing the petition for divorce in Texas, you must guarantee that your spouse receives copies of those legal documents and is aware of the situation. The amount of time it takes to serve these papers depends on their location and how long it takes the process server to find them if they’re evading service. Once the papers are delivered to the correct individual, then there’s a minimum 60 day waiting period before your court proceedings will commence. In some cases, if there’s a lot of back and forth negotiation going on, it could take longer. The length of the trial also depends on the stipulations and potential complications involved in each individual case.

11. Do both spouses need to live in the same county where the divorce is being filed?

No, only one of the spouses must have lived in the county where the divorce is being filed for a minimum of 90 days prior to the petition request.

12. Can you e-file divorce papers in Texas?

Absolutely! But, you need to make sure you have a certified process server or sheriff working on your case to do so.

13. What happens if a spouse doesn’t sign divorce papers?

While an uncontested and amicable divorce is always ideal, it doesn’t always turn out that way. In the event that your spouse refuses to sign the waiver of service or divorce papers, then all that means is that the mediation or negotiation process will be prolonged until both parties can reach a mutually beneficial and acceptable agreement.

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The content in our blog articles is for general information purposes only and should not be used in the place of legal advice. Professional Court Services strives to provide content that is accurate and timely as of the date of writing; however, we assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness or usefulness of any information in the articles.

For legal advice, readers should contact a licensed attorney and consult the appropriate documentation for information on individual state laws.