As of 2021, Texas law allows a person to be served with notice of a divorce via email, however not without following some difficult steps with the court first.
Here is the specific law on this topic, which can be found under Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 106:Rule 106 – Method of Service(a) Unless the citation or court order otherwise directs, the citation must be served by:(1) delivering to the defendant, in person, a copy of the citation, showing the delivery date, and of the petition; or(2) mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the citation and of the petition.(b) Upon motion supported by a statement-sworn to before a notary or made under penalty of perjury-listing any location where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under (a)(1) or (a)(2) at the location named in the statement but has not been successful, the court may authorize service:(1) by leaving a copy of the citation and of the petition with anyone older than sixteen at the location specified in the statement; or(2) in any other manner, including electronically by social media, email, or other technology, that the statement or other evidence shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.
Can I Serve My Spouse With Divorce Papers Via Email if I Skip All Of These Steps?
I understand that it is very tempting to believe that these steps are not necessary and that surely the Court will find an email notice that your spouse actually read is enough notice to count. But, you would be wrong. One of the most strict types of law followed by judges in Texas are the rules surrounding how a person is notified of a lawsuit. You must follow the rules exactly or your divorce will not be granted, most likely.
What If I Cannot Get to Court To Follow These Steps?
It is very understandable that getting to court and making the proper documents to get permission to serve your spouse via email is a lot to consider. I suggest you hire a lawyer for what is called a limited scope purpose. In other words you hire the lawyer just to go get permission for you to serve your spouse via email. This way you do not have to hire the lawyer for the entire case, and you can still skip going to court for this hearing.