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  1. #1
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    Responding to the Waiver of Citation

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    My wife and I do not live in the same city. I have filed the petition for divorce with the county clerk in Harris county (she lives in Randall county), and there is no legitimate reason to contest our divorce. I understand that she must either sign the waiver and return it to me so that I can file it, or she must file an answer. What no one will tell me is how long she has to do either of these things. How long do I have to file the Waiver now that the petition has been filed? I understand that I will have to have her served by a process server if she either does not respond, or refuses to sign. How long am I supposed to wait before I have her served? And how will exceeding whatever time period is allowed affect my filing?
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkstone View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    My wife and I do not live in the same city. I have filed the petition for divorce with the county clerk in Harris county (she lives in Randall county), and there is no legitimate reason to contest our divorce. I understand that she must either sign the waiver and return it to me so that I can file it, or she must file an answer. What no one will tell me is how long she has to do either of these things. How long do I have to file the Waiver now that the petition has been filed? I understand that I will have to have her served by a process server if she either does not respond, or refuses to sign. How long am I supposed to wait before I have her served? And how will exceeding whatever time period is allowed affect my filing?
    Why not just go ahead and serve her rather than relying on her to either sign the waiver or respond?
  3. #3
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    This is about money, and the fact that I don't have any. The divorce itself is literally uncontestable. We were married for four months, she started sleeping with someone else after a month of marriage. We have no children, no debt together, no mutual assets, and have never lived together as husband and wife (she was supposed to move in May). She has no claim to anything of mine, and I want nothing from her but my last name. I could see no reason to pay for having her served, so I went this route as it seemed to make sense.

    I understand that having her served would have meant I could avoid having to ask this question, but the fact remains that I need to know how much time may elapse before I HAVE to have her served. She should receive the petition and waiver on Monday; I assume I will get the return receipt by Wednesday or Thursday. How long do I have to wait to receive the Waiver before having her served?
  4. #4
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    The court documents will tell you how long you have to have her served.

    There's one problem in your post. You have no right to take 'your name' back. It is now legally her name, as well and she has every bit as much right to it as you do. So don't waste your time trying to force her to change her name.
  5. #5
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    Unfortunately the court documents do NOT tell me how long she has to return the Waiver so that I can have it filed. That's the big mystery. I know that she has 21 days from the time she is served to respond (the documents don't tell you that - I had to research it), but if I can avoid having to pay for that service I am going to.

    I'm not trying to force her to change her name - I'm just stating that that is the only thing I want from her. Under the circumstances I cannot imagine that she would want to keep it anyway.
  6. #6
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkstone View Post
    Unfortunately the court documents do NOT tell me how long she has to return the Waiver so that I can have it filed. That's the big mystery. I know that she has 21 days from the time she is served to respond (the documents don't tell you that - I had to research it), but if I can avoid having to pay for that service I am going to.

    I'm not trying to force her to change her name - I'm just stating that that is the only thing I want from her. Under the circumstances I cannot imagine that she would want to keep it anyway.
    Just serve her. It's not very expensive. Why in the world would you spend all this time wondering what to do and risk having the entire divorce messed up to avoid $50 in service fees?

    Sorry, but 'the only thing you want from her' isn't yours to take.
  7. #7
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    My original question was 'How long do I have to file the waiver after the petition has been filed? I still do not have an answer to this question.

    The petition has already been sent along with the Waiver of Citation
    I am trying to avoid $60 in fees because I do not have $60 to SPEND on service fees, and there is no reason to contest this divorce.

    Seriously, can someone please answer the question I have asked instead of questioning my motives or decisions that have already been made?
  8. #8
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkstone View Post
    My original question was 'How long do I have to file the waiver after the petition has been filed? I still do not have an answer to this question.

    The petition has already been sent along with the Waiver of Citation
    I am trying to avoid $60 in fees because I do not have $60 to SPEND on service fees, and there is no reason to contest this divorce.

    Seriously, can someone please answer the question I have asked instead of questioning my motives or decisions that have already been made?
    It should be on your paperwork. If you can't find it, call the court clerk.
  9. #9
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    It's not on the paperwork, and I did ask the court clerk. She informed me that it was a legal question. That is why I asked it here.
  10. #10
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Can't you have a friend serve the papers?
  11. #11
    tkstone is offline Junior Member
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    I am attempting to stick to the letter of the law and get this divorce over and done with as quickly and as inexpensibly as possible. The Waiver of Citation was issued so I could avoid the unnecessary expense of a process server. There is nothing to contest in this case. Nothing at all. Obviously I am the only one who is thinking rationally here (between she and I, that is); that's why I issued the citation to begin with as opposed to having her served. I can't have her served by someone who is not acting in an official capacity and who is not licensed to do so.

    Apparently no one here has the information I need. My plan, for anyone who is interested, is to wait 48 hours from the time I receive the registered mail receipt to see if the signed waiver shows up in my mailbox (I even included a postage paid envelope). If it doesn't show up within that time frame, I'll have her served.
  12. #12
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkstone View Post
    Apparently no one here has the information I need. My plan, for anyone who is interested, is to wait 48 hours from the time I receive the registered mail receipt to see if the signed waiver shows up in my mailbox (I even included a postage paid envelope). If it doesn't show up within that time frame, I'll have her served.
    Then you're wasting your time. It is extremely unlikely that you'll get her response within 2 days of the registered mail receipt. You'll be wasting the time to get the mail there, the receipt back, no response, etc. For it to be even remotely reasonable, you'd have to allow something like 10 days. You could have had her served by now and been on your way.

    You're sure going about things in a round-about way for someone who's supposedly in a hurry.
  13. #13
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Two things. First, I don't believe you have to have a "licensed" person do service. Look to Texas service of process rules. There, you will also find you can serve by *certified* mail *if* the party to be served is the one who signs.
  14. #14
    las365 is offline Senior Member
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    Okay. The reason that no one can tell you the time frame within which she is required to sign or decline to sign a Waiver of Citation is that there is not one. The ONLY way that you can impose a deadline on her is to have her served with the lawsuit.

    I get it that money is tight, but I think you are wise to end this brief marriage as quickly as you can. The last thing you need is an estranged wife out there getting pregnant by someone else or racking up debt that could even minimally arguably be a community liability. Work some overtime, get a second job, borrow from your parents, do what you need to do to get the buckies to have her served and get your divorce finalized.

    Many years ago when I worked for a divorce attorney in Houston ($99 divorces, y'all!) there was a six-month waiting period between filing the divorce petition and being able to get the final order. I think that is still the law. If so, you can use that as the time frame you want to work within. Good luck!
  15. #15
    garrula lingua is offline Senior Member
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    OP,
    It's really up to the Judge. If a case is lingering too long, the Judge will put it on his/her 'drop docket [dwop-dismiss for want of prosecution]' in Tx.
    This usually doesn't happen until about six months after filing.

    She has until Monday, at 10 am, following the twentieth day after you serve her to file an answer.
    Most Petitioners will allow extra time before defaulting the other party.

    Texas has odd (compared to CA) service requirements.
    Process servers are sworn in by the court (after a designated class), or are Sheriffs/Constables.

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