What Legal Document Must Be Served to My Spouse in a Divorce?

In Texas, filing for and obtaining a divorce requires that you serve your soon-to-be-ex with legal notice. That means your spouse must receive copies of the documents you completed to petition for the dissolution of marriage. If your spouse completes a Respondent’s Original Answer form or a Waiver of Service Only form, you are exempted from this requirement.

What Forms Do I Need?

When filing, you must complete the Petition for Divorce form, which lets the court know of your intention to end your marriage. After you have filled out the document, you must make two copies of it and take all three to the District Clerks Office. This must be done in the county in which you or your spouse have lived for the past 90 days.

The Clerk will keep the original petition and give you back two stamped copies. One is for yourself, and the other is for your spouse.

What Needs to Be Delivered to My Spouse?

Your spouse must be served with one stamped copy of the Petition for Divorce, the order with a scheduled court date, and/or additional documents you included with your initial petition.

How Do I Serve the Documents?

There are a couple of ways you can get the required forms to your spouse, which include:

  • Process server: A constable, sheriff, or private server can deliver the documents. After your spouse receives them, the server will complete a Return of Service form indicating that the papers were provided.
  • Certified mail: The documents can be sent to your spouse through the post. This method requires requesting return service. When you receive the green receipt back with your spouse’s signature, you must send it to the Clerk so they can complete a Return of Service form. The trouble with sending divorce papers through registered mail is that someone else might sign for the delivery. If that happens, you will have to pay to have them submitted another way because your spouse’s signature is required to move forward with the process.

What Happens After My Spouse Is Served?

After your spouse receives the divorce forms, they have until the following Monday after 20 days of receiving the papers to file an answer. Their response lets the court know that they might contest the terms of the divorce. If they fail to submit a reply, the court will issue a default judgment, meaning it will side in your favor without hearing your spouse’s side.

Contact Rodriguez & Gimbert for Compassionate Representation

If you are considering filing for a divorce, allow our team to provide the legal help you need to navigate the complex process. We understand that the outcomes of your case will have lasting effects on you and your family, which is why we will keep your best interests in mind as we skillfully handle the matter.

Speak with our attorneys today by calling us at (979) 559-3599 or contacting us online.