I want to handle my own divorce paperwork, how do I begin?

Posted over 4 years ago. Applies to Texas, 1 helpful vote

Email

Many times two people will seek a divorce and the issues are totally agreed upon. In this scenario it does not make sense to pay an attorney thousands of dollars to handle something the spouses should be able to handle themselves, right?

The judicial system is open to "pro se" litigants, but everything has become so complicated that the average person does not know where to begin.

The first thing you need is an agreement between the spouses on everything from property division to child related issues such as custody, support and visitation. This is actually the hardest part. Many people will say that everything is agreed, or they want an uncontested divorce, but when pressed on the issue it becomes clear that nothing has been agreed to. There is just the idea that they want to agree. Get this done before you do anything else.

A common question that arises is "how do we know what the Texas law provides so that we can put it in our agreement"? First of all, you are free to agree on just about anything you want. The only caveat to that is that the court will look out for the best interests of the child. For example the spouse who should pay child support makes $100,000 per year but the parties agree to no child support. There better be a pretty good reason for this or the court may not approve the order.

If you want to keep things a little more standard, you can research online the standard possession order in Texas or how to calculate guideline child support in Texas. I have posted about both of these subjects on my blog and on this website, so I know the information is out there.

Once you have your agreements worked out, you need the forms to complete your divorce yourself. You can use the standard run of the mill legal forms that you find online but they are a one size fits all proposition and are not tailored to Texas divorce. The other option is a forms package through an attorney, with the forms prepared and reviewed by an attorney with specific instructions on how to file, where to file, and exactly what to do. The price is similar, but the quality of the services are significantly different.

If you want to handle your own divorce paperwork and you are not in the State of Texas, you can visit this website to find an attorney in your area who will assist you in preparing your divorce paperwork.

Additional Resources

Chris Schmiedeke

The Dallas Divorce Blog

Rate this guide

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

28,050 answers this week

3,045 attorneys answering