When contemplating the idea of divorce, spouses should prepare themselves for this process not only emotionally but also financially. Marriage dissolution often requires spouses to spend considerable amounts of money, specifically on lawyers. Fortunately, there is an option that allows couples to end their marriage almost for free – a DIY divorce.
According to Texas divorce law, you can get a DIY (do-it-yourself) divorce, also known as a pro se divorce, and represent yourself in court without hiring an attorney to file for divorce. This is mostly the case for agreed-upon marriage dissolutions and also works for those with minor children. Read this article to find out whether a self-file divorce in Texas is the right choice for you and how you can you do divorce yourself.
Can You File Your Own Divorce?
Yes, you can file your divorce papers on your own and even represent yourself in court. However, to get a DIY marriage dissolution, you must meet two main conditions – be in full agreement with your spouse and file based on the reason of “irreconcilable differences.”
It means that you must decide on how to divide your assets and debts, agree on the custody over your children and who will pay child support, check whether one of you requires alimony, etc. Additionally, you cannot file based on any fault grounds, such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment. This marriage dissolution process will be called a full-agreement uncontested no-fault divorce.
When you meet such requirements, you won’t need to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. Besides, you will be able to go through all the steps of marriage dissolution on your own. When you are not able to solve some or any disputes with your spouse, you may try mediation to reach an agreement. If you cannot reach it, you should work with a lawyer who will be drawing up divorce papers and preparing you for a contested divorce..
What Are My Options for DIY Divorce in Texas?
If you decide to file without a lawyer, your DIY divorce options in Texas are:
- Get a free online divorce completely on your own. This means that you will go through all the steps of uncontested divorce without any assistance. It includes finding information about the legal process, finding the right paperwork, understanding what and where to file, etc. Even though this is the most affordable option there is, a DIY divorce often becomes quite extended in time and burdensome for those who have never dealt with legal matters. After all, it is easy to make mistakes when you have no guidance or help.
- File divorce online in Texas with the help of an online divorce provider. If you choose to work with a company like QuickDivorceTexas, you will not need to spend days looking for the paperwork or filling it out because you will get a full package of forms for only $139. Besides, you will save time and resources since you will be provided with a step-by-step filing guide. This way, you get everything you need for a marriage dissolution while putting minimal effort into the process.
How to File for Divorce on Your Own?
Here are all the steps of filing divorce papers yourself:
- Make sure that you are on the same page with your spouse concerning your divorce, which will allow you to proceed with an uncontested marriage dissolution. Also, either of you must meet the residency requirements of the state.
- Visit some trusted legal resources to find more information on the process. Additionally, search for all the forms you need in your family situation and based on your agreements. Fill out, proofread, and sign them.
- File the paperwork with the court in the county where you reside. Pay the required court fees and serve the document copies on your spouse. They should sign and file either an Answer or a Waiver with the court.
- Complete the required initial disclosures, and schedule a hearing after a 60-day waiting period is over. Visit the hearing, and after the Decree is signed, give it to the clerk.
What Forms Are Needed to File Divorce in Texas?
The uncontested divorce forms in Texas are divided into different sets based on whether you have children or certain orders already in effect. Some forms will be optional in all cases, for instance, those that will grant you various reliefs. Here are some of the common forms you need to file to get uncontested marriage dissolution in Texas:
- Petition for Divorce
- Civil Case Information Sheet
- Information on Suit Affecting the Family Relationship
- Respondent’s Original Answer or Waiver
- Information on Suit Affecting the Family Relationship
- Final Decree of Divorce
Of course, there will be more forms depending on your case details; for example, spouses with kids need forms covering their parenting agreements and child support payments. Make sure you have taken all your agreements and requests you want to make with the court into consideration when choosing free do-it-yourself divorce forms.
Where to Get Do-It-Yourself Divorce Kit?
If you have enough time and experience in the legal field, you may create your DIY divorce kit completely on your own. However, you need to be aware of the possible pitfalls of this process. First, if you choose not to work with a lawyer, you won’t be able to get advice on the forms to choose and will have to search for the answers on your own.
Secondly, you will need to fill out your papers in such a way that the court does not reject them, which means that there should be no errors or inaccuracies in your documents. Unfortunately, it may be hard not to make mistakes when you lack expertise on the matter. The legal terminology used in the forms is often hard to grasp, which inevitably causes issues.
If you don’t have much time for research and figuring out how to work with forms, you can get help with filling out divorce papers from QuickdivorceTexas. Our company has helped thousands of couples to get their marriage dissolution quickly and effortlessly. For a flat fee of $139, you will get a full package of forms chosen and filled out based on the information you provide.
All you need to do is to fill in a short questionnaire, make payment, and receive your forms in just 5 days or less if you choose expedited options. Finally, the best part of getting help online is that you do not need to go anywhere in order to receive your papers – do everything on your own schedule.
How Much Is a Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Texas?
The average cost of divorce in Texas ranges between $300-$5,000. If you choose a DIY option, $300 is the minimal rate because this is the approximate cost of filing fees you need to pay in court. In case such fees are too much to pay, you can request the court to waive them. If you choose to hire a lawyer, an uncontested divorce in Texas will cost around $4,000-$5,000.
If you don’t want to hire a lawyer but still need help with your documents, you can order paperwork preparation services from QuickdivorceTexas at an affordable rate. This will not only save you a lot of money but also provide you with a comprehensive guide on your marriage dissolution from start to finish.
Elizabeth Lopez is a former legal assistant and now a licensed social worker with a master’s degree from The University of Michigan. Having over six years of experience in the field, she covers topics on mental health, marriage therapy, and the divorce process. Elizabeth is a regular contributor to divorce blogs like sasforwomen.com and marriage.com and is planning to start her own professional blog.