What happens to the divorce proceedings if the respondent has not been served the Original Petition for Divorce papers? 4 Answers as of July 31, 2012

What happens to the divorce proceedings if the respondent has not been served the Original Petition for Divorce papers? I have neither waived nor answered the petition because I have not received it. It was filed more than 6 weeks ago.

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Nwokoye Law Firm
Nwokoye Law Firm | Violet Nwokoye
You will have to be served with a petition for the case to proceed, the court will require a prove of service evidenced by a return of citation on file. However if the petitioner proceeds with service by posting or publication at that point other factors apply. If you are aware of this petition, it might be a good idea to go to the court house and request a copy, to be sure you have not been cited by posting.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/31/2012
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Beware, there are two things that can happen. Either the case will just sit there until it is dismissed for want of prosecution or your spouse may claim at some point that attempts have been made and ask for a substation of service and then try to take a default. Now that latter part, is not as easy as it sounds and it is fraudulent if he/she knows how to reach you. Fraud on the Court in fact and while the cure for you is a reset and new trial, the result is that if it is shown to be based in fraud, the Judge will not be kind to them on any matter that is a he said - she said thing. A fairly common tactic is to file, do not serve the other side since there is a 60 day waiting period, then serve the other side when there is only 22-23 days left on the waiting period and if you do not answer then, they can default you and it is not fraud. You know your spouse, is he/she the type to play this type of game? If so, consult with a lawyer now, do not file an answer, but be ready to do so on short notice. Otherwise, it is your choice, I would highly recommend you still interview a lawyer or two, find someone you like, get the price and get ready, even if you do not hire now, be ready to do so when the time comes.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/30/2012
Cook & Cook Law Firm, PLLC (SanAntonioDefenders)
Cook & Cook Law Firm, PLLC (SanAntonioDefenders) | Megan V. Cook
When a person files for divorce, he must also serve the respondent with a copy of the Petition for divorce, unless the person waives service. However, if the person filing divorce makes diligent efforts to serve the person, and the respondent successfully evades the service by avoiding the process server, then different rules come into play. If the person avoids service or disappears, the Petitioner may Go forward with the divorce anyway by doing what is called substituted service. This is when the petition is left on the door of the last known address or served by publishing notice of the divorce in the local paper. Thus If you evade service, your divorce may just happen without your presence through what is called a default judgement. A default judgement is how a divorce is completed when the answering party to the lawsuit fails to answer. However if the proper rules for service are not followed and the divorce was finalized without the respondent, the respondent may then go on to reopen the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/26/2012
Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
Eventually, if you are not served, the court will place the case on its try or dismiss or dismissal for want of prosecution docket. How long the court will just let the case sit there without service depends on the court, but in most cases they wait at least one year. Once the case is set on a dismissal docket, the filing party will have to show good cause why the case should not be dismissed, generally through the filing of what is called a motion to retain. The court will then decide whether the case should be retained on the docket or dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/27/2012
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