Every person on the receiving end of a lawsuit in Texas is entitled to personal service of a copy of the original filing or filings in that lawsuit. This includes a divorce in Texas.
Personal service is commonly referred to as a person being “served.” Being served consists of a 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 with a lawsuit”. It is a very simple and quick process and not something a person should fear or dread.
A person can waive this right to be personally served with a copy of the lawsuit by executing a Waiver of Service. However, I strongly advise all litigants to not sign a Waiver of Service as there can be additionally clauses included in the waiver of service that will affect a person’s rights in relation to the divorce or other court proceedings. The waiver of service is executed in the presence of a notary, notarized, and then filed with the Court.
The following is language contained in a Waiver of Service in a divorce proceeding in Texas:
“I acknowledge that I have been provided a file-marked copy of the Original Petition for Divorce filed in this case. I have read and understand the contents of that document.
I understand that the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure require, in most instances, that a party or respondent be served with citation. I do not want to be served with citation, and I waive the issuance and service of citation.
I understand that I have a duty to notify the attorney for Petitioner if I change my address. I understand that, unless I notify the attorney for Petitioner of any such change in writing, any notices that I might otherwise be entitled to receive with regard to disposition of this proceeding will be forwarded to me at the address indicated below.
I further state that the following information is correct and that my-
Mailing address is: _________________________________________________
Telephone number is: _______________________________________________
Social Security number is: ___________________________________________
Driver’s license number and issuing state are: ___________________, Texas
I further understand that I have a duty to notify the Court if my mailing address changes during this proceeding."