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No fault divorce papers are signed and notarized. How long are the papers valid after signed but before filing?

Houston, TX |

Both of us have signed the papers, but we have no money to the file papers with the court. Neither me or my spouse are working at the moment. How long does the signature and notary stand, or continue to be valid, since I don't have the legal or court fees?

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Attorney answers 3


If you cannot afford the filing fees, you can apply for an Affidavit of Indigency in which, if you qualify, your filing fees will be waived. You can find these forms usually at the County Law Library. Call the District Clerk for information. Good luck!

This is general legal advice. An attorney-client relationship has not been formed. Please contact an attorney for specific advice on your case.

Steve Fischer

Steve Fischer


Jennifer is correct. IF you can't find a form - basically notarize a paper showing your income and expenses as well as assets and debts. Our county looks at them closely.


"If you cannot afford the filing fee, you must file an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs, which you must sign in the presence of a notary public, at the same time you file your Petition. If the Judge accepts your Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs, your filing fee and other court costs will be waived. A sample form of the Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs is attached..."

This is from the Pro Se Divorce Guide by the State Bar of Texas


You can fill out an affidavit of indigency and file it with your original petition. If you file a sworn affidavit of indigency, you will not have to pay your filing fee when you file. HOWEVER, expect the district clerk to eventually challenge you on the fact of indigency and expect the court to eventually order you to pay *something*. But, at least you'd have that 60 day clock ticking down.

Good luck!

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