In all divorce lawsuits, the defendant must be served with a copy of the complaint for divorce filed by the plaintiff. This is called Service of Process. Service of process may be accomplished in several different ways, such as service by the sheriff or a licensed process server, service by registered or certified mail, or service by publication.
If both parties want to save the time and expense of using one of the traditional methods of service, the Defendant has the option to waive Service of Process, and simply accept a copy of the Complaint directly from the Plaintiff, or Plaintiff’s attorney. When service is accomplished in this manner the Defendant must sign an affidavit acknowledging receipt of the Complaint, and thereby waiving Service of Process.
A divorce may be entered by the court if the parties can reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding all the issues in the divorce, or by the case proceeding to trial where a judge will decide all contested issues between the parties.
When the parties are able to reach an agreement, the agreement must be reduced to writing and signed by both parties. In addition, the parties must sign a divorce waiver of final hearing, which tells the court that both parties are aware that they have a right to have the judge decide any contested issues, but they have elected to waive that right because they have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement.