I signed a waiver of service for two reasons . I deploy constantly as a security contractor and would be unable to attend court dates , and the second reason was because we wrote out the stipulations and agreed to terms to keep things simple . My ex had a pro SE clinic a couple of days ago and I am in the Middle East . She will not contact me to let me know what was said . She has a history of manipulating everyone to get her way and I am concerned that she will try and change or withhold the custody agreement we drafted and agreed to behind my back to keep my daughter away from me as much as possible . What can I do if she has done that ? How can I even find out what is going on since I have signed a waiver of service ?
Child Abuse Lawyer
Executing a Waiver of Service only makes you a party to the lawsuit. Executing a waiver does not mean you do not hav to attend court hearings. You really really need to have an attorney represent your interests if you are out of the country. At an absolute minimum, you should file an answer with the Court stating that you are active military deployed out of the country. That will put the Court on notice of your position in case your spouse tries to finalize without your agreement. A answer can be hand written, it must contain the "cause number" and "style of the case." The cause number is at the top of the divorce petition and the style of the case should be "In the Matter of the Marriage of...___ and in the Interest of ___, A Child." Mail your answer to the District Clerk in the county where the divorce is pending.
I highly recommending hiring a local attorney to represent your interests. You can get an attorney referral in your county by contacting the local bar association.
DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationsip has been, or will be, created until a valid engagement agreement is signed. No duty arises from this posting. Answers posted here are general and made with limited knowledge of the actual facts of your case. Always speak with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction if you wish legal advice specific to your case.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I agree with everything stated by my colleague - but want to add, do it TODAY! If your wife has a history of being manipulative or sneaky - then you should expect the worst not the best. It is far more expensive (and not always possible) to try undo damage done, than to address it at the time of the occurence.
The above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses are merely intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your community. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state
I agree with Ms. Anderson that executing a waiver MIGHT only make you party to the suit and do no more. However, a lot of waivers of service include waivers of a lot of other things including court appearances, signing final orders, etc. If that's the case, I agree about filing an answer, and I agree with what the other lawyer said about doing it TODAY. You can find one on texaslawhelp.org as a stop-gap and I would write on there that you are serving in the military and please hold on any action until you return. Call the clerk's office and ask if under the circumstances, they will allow you to fax this in with a faxed signature. (If not, you can ask an attorney to efile it for you, then it need not be signed in blue with the original filed at the clerk's office.) You can call the clerk's office to see if she's already run in to get new orders based on your waiver. If she has, hire a local attorney immediately to see if they can undo her damage (Motion for New Trial, etc.) and put everything else on hold until your return.
The above is legal information, not legal advice. If you have not paid me and signed a contract, we do not have an attorney-client relationship and I am not your lawyer. â€¢ Christine Henry Andresen â€¢ www.chalaw.com
Child Custody Lawyer
YOu should retain an attorney immediatley to discover what is happening in your case. If you signed a Waiver in which you waived all rights to notice of further proceedings, your wife could have gotten a divorce and gotten everything that she asked the court to be granted and nothing that you wanted granted. It is imperative to act quickly so that you do not loose your right to correct the actions.
This information in my answer is not intended to be legal advice because I do not know the particulars of your case.