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Serve Initial Court Papers - Family Law

This section of the most popular forms page, contains links to various forms and articles to help you serve the intial court papers , also known as giving legal notice, in a family law case in Texas. 

How to Serve the Initial Court Papers (Family Law) - Read this First

This article tells you how to serve the initial court papers in a family law case (such as a divorce, custody, modification or paternity case). LINKS TO FORMS ARE INCLUDED in this article. 

Service by Substituted Service

Click the link above for the form, information, and instructions. 

You can ask the judge for permission to serve the respondent another way if the constable, sheriff, or private process server:

  • has tried to serve the respondent in person or by registered or certified mail without success; and
  • can confirm that the respondent lives, works, or can be found at the location where service was attempted.
Service by Posting

Click the link above for the form, information, and instructions. 

This method of service is used if you cannot find the respondent (after looking really hard), and there are no children involved.

Read this article to learn more: Service by Posting (when you can’t find your spouse in a divorce without kids).

Service by Publication

Click the link above for the form, information, and instructions. 

This method of service is used if you cannot find the respondend (after looking really hard), and there are children involved. Read this article to learn more: Service by Publication (when you can’t find the other parent).