Do I have to send my ex notification of our divorce hearing, if the divorce was posted at the court house?

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Do I have to send my ex notification of our divorce hearing, if the divorce was posted at the court house?

I am going through the process pro se. I know he lives in or around a cetain city somewhere but I cannot locate him. I have posted the divorce and my court date has been set for Monday. The clerk told me I have to notify him of the hearing. What sense does this make? I recently moved but filed for divorce twice before I moved out of town (still in the same state). I filed again after the 90 days in my current county. I found out my ex was in jail. I filed with that information. The county took so long to serve him that he was out by then. The clerk received the card back and sent my file on. Then they got the whole letter back saying he was released. They allowed me to go to court twice before they figured it he wasn’t served. I then posts the divorce. They took over a week to post it. Now saying I have to notifiy him. How am I suppose to do that?

Asked on May 18, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your question is a little confusing because you use the term "post the divorce."  In Texas, you file for divoce... so I assume you mean the same thing.  When you file your petition for divorce, your spouse must be served with a copy of the petition.  This is where someone actually goes and gives him a copy-- person to person.  After he is served, then he has 21 days to file an answer.  If he does not file an answer, then you can request a default judgment be entered against him. 

If he does file an answer, then you will need to have a final hearing set-- and you are required to give him notice of when the final hearing is set, too.  If you are having trouble getting him served with notice of the divorce, then you need to work with the Sheriff (who is doing the service) or a private process server who is willing to help you track him down.  If there is absolutely no way to find him, the you can file a notice by publication-- but you have to jump through several hoops to get it.

If he filed an answer and you just need to give him notice of the final hearing, then you can send his notice to the address listed on his answer.  A best practice is to send one copy of the notice by regular mail, and another by certified mail. 

Just to finish off the divorce, you may want to make a copy of everything that you filed and just have a consulation with a family law attorney-- to give you some advice on how to wrap up your divorce.  At least try to go to a legal aid clinic in your area and have them look at your paperwork.  The people in every clerk's office are nice people and they do try to help, but keep in mind they can't give you legal advice because often they don't know what all of the requirements are. 


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