Should I sign a Waiver of Service?
You have a right to be personally served with the document(s) initiating the divorce. However, it is common practice in an uncontested divorce for one spouse to ask the other to sign a Waiver of Service. There are many reasons why you might want to waive personal service, but there are some important points that you should know before executing a Waiver of Service.
There are two types of waivers. The first is a global waiver, which waives your right to just about everything. All parties have a right to participate in their divorce so as a general rule it is not advisable to sign a global waiver of service. If you do sign a global waiver, you could be waiving more than you bargained for such as:
Your right to receive notice about court hearings;
Your right to review the Final Decree of Divorce;
Your right to put on testimony and evidence related to the property in your marriage; and
Your right to put on testimony and evidence regarding any issues related to conservatorship, child custody, child support, and other issues involving your children.
The second type of waiver is a specific waiver, which only waives your right to be personally served. It may be perfectly acceptable for you to sign a specific waiver, especially if you are presented with the Waiver of Service and the Final Decree of Divorce at the same time as this allows you to know what your spouse is asking for before executing the Waiver of Service. The most important thing is to make sure that you are either going to sign off on the Final Decree of Divorce before it is presented to the Judge OR receive notice of future court hearings. However, it is still a good idea to have an attorney take a look at the waiver to ensure that you are not waiving anything else. Most specific waivers include important language such as the following:
“I request the Court not to enter any final orders or judgment not signed by me.”
“I do not waive any rights that I may have with regard to the division of my interest in my spouse's and my property.”
"I do not waive any rights that I may have with respect to the terms and conditions of conservatorship, support, and parental rights and duties related to the children born of my relationship with Petitioner.”
Have you been presented with a waiver of service? Do you need an attorney to review? Give us a call at (281) 768-4071 to schedule a consultation with an attorney today!