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What is the legal procedure for being served? Does the document need to be placed in my hand by the process server?

Bandera, TX |

My husband served me divorce papers but only served the address. My Grandfather spoke to some process servers but I was not physically served. I moved recently and was not physically at the address nor did the document get placed in my hand. My husband forged my signature on our taxes and is refusing to send me any money. I have been here with my children. My daughter was brought to me April 2nd or 3rd and my son flew one way on May 21st. Since both children have been with me my husband has sent fourty dollars. He used the money he was supposed to send out of our income tax to serve me with divorce papers and sue me for sole custody of my children. What can I do to protect myself?

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Attorney answers 3


Texas Rules of Civil Procedure govern this

Rule 106. Method of Service

Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by
delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or
mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.
Upon motion supported by affidavit stating the location of the defendant ’s usual place of business or usual place of abode or other place where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under either (a)(I) or (a)(2) at the location named in such affidavit but has not been successful, the court may authorize service
(1) by leaving a true cope of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, with anyone over sixteen years of age at the location specified in such affidavit, or
(2) in any other manner that the affidavit or other evidence before the court shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit. (Amended Aug. 18, 1947, eff. Dec. 31, 1947; July 22, 1975, eff. Jan. 1, 1976; July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978, June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990.)

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


It depends on the jurisdiction. Was it in Texas? Based on the facts you have given I would suggest consulting with a family law attorney. If you were served and do not answer, your husband could get a default judgment against you.

This answer is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.



Yes it was served in Texas by a process server. My husband filed Divorce in Arizona. He's trying to extradite me to an Arizona court. He has threatened me in the past and I'm afraid for my safety and that of my children's. I've tried legal aid and I have yet to get through. Can the Texas state government help me to protect myself? I'm at a loss and I'm not sure what to do. Any information is helpful, and I thank you for responding.

Laura Ream Lemus

Laura Ream Lemus


I do not know the service requirements in Arizona. There are quite a few legal aid agencies that may be able to help you in Texas. I suggest contacting the Texas Advocacy Project: Their family violence legal line is 800-374-hope (Statewide) and their family law hotline is 800-777-fair (Statewide). Hopefully they can point you in the right direction. You really do need to get a lawyer as soon as possible though to avoid a default in Arizona.


There are certain elements that must be shown to show that you were properly served. With the scenario you described, there may be a possibility that you were not served. If that is true, there is still time to protect your rights. You will need to consult an attorney and talk about filing a Bill of Review in your case.
I would advise you contact a Family Law attorney to speak more on your case.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in Texas. If you have any questions, you can call 210.927.3412 ex. 110 or visit