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

Many times two people seeking a Texas divorce have agreed upon all the issues and simply need the guidance and paperwork to complete the process. 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 or litigants who represent themselves, 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 and debt division to child related issues such as custody, child support and visitation. This is actually the hardest part. Many people will say that everything is agreed, or they want an uncontested Texas divorce, but when pressed on the issue it becomes clear that nothing has been agreed to. They just like the idea of agreeing. 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 normally would 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 the standard possession order in Texas or how to calculate guideline child support in Texas online. I have posted about both of these subjects on my blog and on the Avvo.com 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 or paperwork package through an attorney, such as my firm, 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.

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