Waivers of many kinds are often used in the law. In a divorce case, a divorce waiver may refer to a fee waiver, a waiver of service, or a waiver of the final hearing. As with all documents involved in a divorce case, a divorce waiver must be filed with the court and will become an official part of the court record.
One type of divorce waiver that may be applied for in a divorce proceeding is a fee waiver. When a petitioner, or person filing the divorce, does not have the funds the pay the filing fee, many jurisdictions allow him or her to apply for a fee waiver. The court may request proof of the applicant's financial situation before making a decision as to whether or not to approve the waiver. If the court does approve the waiver, then the petitioner will be allowed to file the petition for divorce without paying the required filing fee.
Another type of divorce waiver is a waiver of service. In all civil lawsuits, including a divorce, the respondent must be served with a copy of the petition filed by the petitioner. Service of process may be accomplished in a number of different ways, such as service by the civil sheriff or a licensed process server, service by registered or certified mail, or service by publication. In a divorce, if both parties wish to save the time and expense of using one of the traditional methods of service, the respondent often has the option to waive service and simply accept a copy of the petition directly from the petitioner. When service is accomplished in this manner the respondent must usually sign and file with the court an affidavit acknowledging receipt of the petition and thereby waiving service.
A divorce may be disposed of by the parties reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding all the issues in the divorce or by the case proceeding to trial where a judge or jury 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 or jury decide any contested issues, but they have elected to waive that right because they have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement.