Divorce follows a standard state process, but certain circumstances can affect what you should do next. One of the essential steps is serving your divorce papers to your spouse. Generally, specific people can do it for you, such as a constable, sheriff and other legally authorized officers in Texas who can serve the divorce.
They will try to serve the documents in person or by mail according to the Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 106. Although sometimes, these methods might not work because of factors beyond your control. You can proceed through substituted service, which means serving the papers through email and social media.
However, your situation can be more complicated if you cannot find your spouse.
What if I cannot locate my spouse?
Not being able to locate your spouse can put you in a difficult position. Even so, you can attempt to look for them by:
- Contacting their employer, family and friends to ask about their whereabouts
- Writing to them using their last known address
- Checking any updates using telephone, voter and property tax registries
- Reaching out to them using social media
If you still cannot find them, you may go to the court and ask for permission to serve your divorce through a newspaper announcement or courthouse posting. Unfortunately, they might not allow you to use these options if your divorce involves children who are minors.
What happens next?
The process can proceed after serving your divorce documents. Your spouse can file an answer or a waiver of service, showing that they waived the formal notice but retained their right to have a say during proceedings.
On the other hand, filing a global waiver means they relinquish all their involvement in the divorce. From here on out, your divorce can move forward in different ways. Learning and determining the best course of action can help you resolve issues throughout the divorce process.