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What to do when your spouse avoids divorce paper service

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Blog, Divorce

A key part of any divorce proceeding is the service of the papers on the respondent. When you file for divorce, you have a responsibility to serve your spouse with those papers. In Texas, there are several means of service permitted, but some people resist the process and avoid service.

There are a few options to consider when your spouse is refusing service of divorce papers.

Attempt direct communication

When your spouse resists service of the divorce papers, start by reaching out to them directly to discuss the situation. If they agree to talk, you may be able to arrange to meet. Pass the information along to your process server to facilitate service.

Explore alternative means of service

Texas allows a variety of means of service for divorce papers. Consider pursuing service digitally through social media platforms or email if you exhaust other means without success.

Publish a public notice

Public notices are an acceptable means of service when you have no other options available. If you serve by publication, make sure the newspapers you select meet the court’s requirements. According to the Texas courts online publication FAQ, you can publish solely to the Office of Court Administration website if no newspaper exists in your county or newspaper publication costs more than $200 per week.

When you have proof of service, or sufficient proof of attempts, that starts the deadline process for your spouse to respond to the petition. Provide the evidence of your service attempts to the judge, including records from your process server, any digital service documentation and records of any published notices.


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