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Waiving Service in Divorce Cases

In a suit for divorce, the spouse who filed the petition for divorce must serve a copy of the lawsuit to the other spouse. The spouse being sued for divorce can agree to waive service by signing a waiver. If both spouses want to get divorced and are on decent terms, agreeing to waive service can have certain benefits.

There can be several constructive reasons the parties may want to consider waiving service of the lawsuit. First, it costs money to serve the lawsuit. You must hire an independent person (such as a process server or constable) to serve your spouse and they charge a fee for their services. Second, it can be embarrassing to be served with a lawsuit. The process server may appear at your spouse's place of employment or spouse's home. Depending on where the spouse is served and who is present to witness the spouse being served, there is potential for much embarrassment.

If you are the spouse being sued and are considering waiving service, you need to read the waiver very carefully because waivers vary in their terms. Some waivers state that service of the lawsuit is waived only and that notification of all hearings in the case are not waived. Other waivers state that you are waiving notice regarding everything in the lawsuit. If you waive notice of everything in the lawsuit, your spouse can schedule a hearings and/or trial and you are not required to be notified.

Waivers have their benefits, however, it is important to clearly understand what it is you are agreeing to before you sign a waiver.

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