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Waiver of Service – What is it?

| chrislaw | ,

After the “petition” is filed, and ONLY after the petition is filed, the Petitioner can present the Respondent (the other spouse) a Waiver of Service. Anytime someone is sued, including uncontested divorces, they are entitled to notice of the lawsuit. The Court will require proof that the spouse has received a copy of the petition and knows there is a lawsuit pending.

In comes the Waiver of Service. This document is signed and notarized by the Respondent and filed with the Court. This tells the Court that they have received the Petition and advises the Court that they “waive” being served.  Service is officially handing the person the petition for divorce by a person authorized to serve papers, or a Process Server.  To avoid the embarrassment or hassle of being physically served, a Waiver of Service can be used.  A Waiver of Service is sometimes called a Waiver of Citation.

In an agreed or uncontested divorce, it is assumed that the spouse agrees to sign the waiver of service. If they do not, you may not have an uncontested divorce.  In that case, it would be necessary to serve the spouse via a Process Server.

Once the petition and waiver are filed (or the spouse is officially served), all that remains is the Final Decree of Divorce. This is the order of the Court in a divorce and is the final document. It resolves ALL of the divorce issues and is typically signed by both the husband and the wife in an agreed or uncontested divorce.  If not, then the Final Decree of Divorce will reflect the Court’s ruling after a trial before the court.

Chris Schmiedeke


I was born in Dallas and spent the majority of my life here. I moved to Denver in the middle of the first grade and moved back to Plano in the middle of the eleventh grade. I graduated from Plano Senior High in 1984 and then attended Richland College and the University of North Texas where a received a Bachelor of Business Administration. From there I attended the Texas Tech University School of Law and was licensed to practice law in May of 1993. 

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