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Do I first have to ask my spouse for a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Divorce

While a divorce may ultimately bring relief to those involved, that does not make the process any less stressful. Even in cases involving physical, emotional or psychological abuse, actually telling one’s spouse they want a divorce can induce panic.

Thus, many may understand your hesitancy to speak to your spouse prior to formally initiating divorce proceedings. This prompts the inevitable question of whether you have to do so, or whether you can simply serve them with divorce papers.

Informing your spouse of your desire for a divorce

The answer is yes, you can avoid asking your spouse for a divorce and instead initiate the process on your own. However, this is a decision that you should not take lightly, as both your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s actions and yours are likely to come under scrutiny during your proceedings.

What does this mean? The court may consider the handling of your decision to seek a divorce when structuring your divorce settlement, your custody agreement, and any other element of your separation. The whole concept of a no-fault divorce means that neither party to such a process has to be at fault for the marriage ending. Therefore, it is not necessary to try and convey to court officials that your spouse is to blame for your marital troubles.

Serving the divorce papers

Of course, your concerns might legitimately stem from fears over your personal safety. It is for this very reason that the law actually does not allow you to serve your spouse with divorce papers yourself. Indeed, according to Section 103 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, only a law enforcement officer, a process server, or one specially certified by the state Supreme Court can do it.

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