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Would you sign a waiver of notice in a No Fault D?

Superesse posted 4/8/2021 10:12 AM

Hi all! A friend of mine who does charitable work for our church is helping someone get through his divorce, and just asked me to look at legal papers his STBX cheating wife, mother of their 4 children, sent for him to "sign off" on to finalize their No Fault Divorce (based on over one year apart, no reconciliation, and no mention of her infidelity).

The document - "Acceptance/Waiver of Service Process..." - lists a number of legal notifications the Defendant will be waiving his right to, if he signs it, one being "notice of entry of any order, judgment or decree, including the final decree of divorce."

To me, not being a legal person, that looks like the STBX is trying to save herself legal document and filing fees. Maybe this kind of sign-off document isn't a problem in this case, other than it reads like my friend will have to keep checking with the Virginia court, for example, to find out when his divorce decree gets filed. I'm just not sure that signing this waiver is a red flag in this situation (couple had no property and child custody was already verbally agreed to). Still, my friend says she doesn't trust the STBX and why this was sent, so she asked my opinion....and I'd like a more informed opinion than I can give her! Sound familiar, anyone? Unforeseen consequences, etc.? TIA

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:20 AM, April 8th (Thursday)]

BeingNaive posted 4/8/2021 10:46 AM

I wouldn't sign anything that negates me being told of any judgments or decrees. Basically sounds like if she wanted to have something amended, he wouldn't be notified.

And regarding custody, verbal agreements mean NOTHING. He should have custody settled legally with the courts.

DanielJK posted 4/8/2021 10:57 AM

I always defer to the attorney. If they don't have one, they should get one...I would be very careful with something like this.

If it mentions

"notice of entry of any order, judgment or decree, including the final decree of divorce."

It sounds like there is already a divorce decree, it may be a form that means "hey, the divorce is final and you said it was final by signing the divorce decree, don't come back later an try to sue me for something else." Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

If your friend does not have a lawyer, he is still married, and there is no draft or final divorce decree...I would strongly suggest getting an attorney.

grubs posted 4/8/2021 11:05 AM

We both signed waiver of service in my divorce. Along with a waiver of property and financial disclosures. It speeds the case and saves some money. 33 days and $319 from date of filing to standing in front of judge and being divorced. No kids though and the disposition of assets was pretty straight forward.

Typical legal process is Plantiff files case with court. Defendant is served (either by sheriff or registered mail) and is given 30 days from date of service to respond. Each step or filing has a similar process and delay. The waiver is to short circuit that service. Any timer starts at the filing date instead of the proof of the return of service. The risk is missing a deadline to respond.

Are there lawyers involved by either party? In my case my exWW handled the filings and I signed off on the separation agreement when I signed the waiver. I wouldn't do this without a written separation, Custody, and support agreements filed with them. Funny things happen to verbal agreements when getting down to writing down the nitty gritty details into writing.

[This message edited by grubs at 11:11 AM, April 8th (Thursday)]

grubs posted 4/8/2021 11:34 AM

Entire case process for mine. Each state is different though. I was still sent the final decree via regular mail. The waiver of 14 day objection period was something we signed day of trial.

Docket Information
Date Docket Text Amount Owed
01/15/1001 Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, filed $81.00
01/15/1001 Separation Agreement filed
01/15/1001 Classification Form filed
01/15/1001 Waiver of Service filed
01/15/1001 Waiver of Service filed
01/15/1001 Waiver of Financial Disclosure Affidavit filed
01/15/1001 Property Waiver filed
01/15/1001 Copy of Dissolution Check List Received
01/15/1001 Copy of Driver's License/Identification Card Received-Confidential Information-Not a Public Record
01/15/1001 Copy of Driver's License/Identification Card Received-Confidential Information-Not a Public Record
01/15/1001 Clerk's fees for indexing and docketing new case Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $25.00
01/15/1001 Deposit Received Receipt: 77312 Date: 01/15/1001 $119.00
01/15/1001 Per Page Fee Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $22.00
01/15/1001 HEARING SCHEDULED
Event: Dissolution with Magistrate
Date: 02/15/1001 Time: 9:00 am
Judge: McJudge, Judge Location:

Result: Decree Submitted at hearing

Result: Closed
01/16/1001 Notice to Appear filed
01/16/1001 Per Page Fee Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $1.00
02/16/1001 Dissolution Judgment Entry filed Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $2.00
02/16/1001 Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, filed
Copy to all Parties/Counsel of Record Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $30.00
02/16/1001 Attachments $0.00
02/16/1001 Waiver of Fourteen Day Objection Period filed
02/16/1001 Per Page Fee Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $17.00
02/16/1001 Charges for Vital Stat Report and Certification Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $4.00
02/16/1001 Family Violence Prevention Fee Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $5.50
02/16/1001 Ohio Department of Health Vital Statistics Certified Abstract Completed
02/16/1001 Postage, Ordinary Mail, 1-4 sheets inserted Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $1.00
02/20/1001 Issue Date: 02/20/1001
Service: Decree
Method: Ordinary Mail (11-17 sheets)
Cost Per: $ 2.00


Grubs
123 Some Road
Someplace, OH
Tracking No: R000005337

Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $2.00
02/20/1001 Issue Date: 02/20/1001
Service: Decree
Method: Ordinary Mail (11-17 sheets)
Cost Per: $ 2.00


Wayward, Grub's
456 Someplace else
Tracking No: R000005338

Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001 $2.00
02/20/1001 Docket sheet and cost bill imaged
02/20/1001 Additional costs Receipt: 77893 Date: 02/20/1001

Poppy704 posted 4/8/2021 12:15 PM

If everything is already agreed upon, this is a standard form to finalize divorce, at least in my state. Iíve prepared this document in my office dozens of times and I signed one myself. Itís not anything diabolical.

Superesse posted 4/9/2021 10:48 AM

Thank you all so much for the feedback!

It helped a lot to hear both angles from you experienced folks. In the Divorce Petition she showed me, the STBXW's lawyer had marked Child Custody as unresolved and within that option, the language states the parties "may" return for further legal petitioning. Based on what you all said, I advised it might be best to either (a) get Child Custody formalized and included in the Divorce or (b) don't sign a blanket waiver. Return it and let the Petitioner revise it!

I didn't want to create needless anxiety or hassles with lawyers for a financially strapped BS, but as BeingNaive said "verbal agreements mean NOTHING." Other than Custody, I didn't see any big red flag in their case, since there are no financial or physical assets to divide and divorces are public record he could check.

Thanks again, you all have helped a good father who needs a break.

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