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How do I Serve Someone in Mexico?

Many of family relations here in Texas extend not only within the borders of this state but also as far as Mexico. So, when legal problems arise, the conflict passes through from one point to another point, making it harder for both parties to reconcile their differences and resolve their issues given the situation they are in. Let me give you a case example.

Jacob is a father and the primary provider in his family. He has two children studying, and his wife has a desk job in a small-time business firm. He rents a small apartment. The rent was religiously paid every month until one November when Jacob met an accident which left him bed-ridden for months and required him to be attended to all the time. His condition forced him to leave his job which also caused his wife to resign from her job in order to take care of him. Expenses piled up until there is not enough money to cover their monthly rentals and all the other bills to pay. They were heavily in debt and the fights between him and his wife became more frequent. 

Unbeknownst to Jacob, his wife has been saving up money to buy a ticket to Mexico to live with her parents, intending to leave him behind and taking their children with her. 

When he finally recovered, he fixed all his current crisis and decided to file for a divorce

The question is, how would Ethan file a lawsuit against his wife when she has already moved to Mexico?

Family cases such as divorce generally has no need for a lawyer since parties are allowed by law to represent themselves. However, divorce cases may sometimes be complicated to deal with especially when there are issues to be fixed such as child custody, support and other legal familial matters. So, it is best advised to hire a lawyer to give the you a run-through of all the proper legal actions and remedies you may consider taking. 

The next step is to notify your spouse about the divorce and to serve the latter with the initial divorce papers. In the given case, Jacob may still get a decree of divorce even when his wife no longer lives in Texas as long as he meets the residency requirements for divorce. There are fees to be paid and papers to submit to court.

However, what if a divorce is not your problem? What if it is some other lawsuit?

Well, if that’s the case, the process gets expensive because it involved out-of-the-country document deliveries. This is not just expensive, but also time-consuming. The document may take months to get to where it is sent. 

Plus, you are going to need a lawyer to process this.

Texas adheres to the Hague Service Convention, which is an international document signed by most nations in the world, such as the United States and Mexico. The purpose of such document is to organize country-to-country paperwork services involving a wide range of legal matters. It includes translating the documents to be served abroad (since the recipient of the lawsuit in this case is in Mexico, the document has to be translated in Spanish), filling out a Hague Service Request, making few copies to serve as your own record and then sending them to the Central Authority for Mexico. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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