Divorce is one of the most challenging things that a person can experience in their life. Your emotions are like a roller coaster, and you wonder if you will ever truly live again. Whatever happened to the “happily ever after” that you were promised? The fact is that more than half of all marriages end in divorce, so it’s essential to make sure that you and your rights are protected.
When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s never easy. You want out of your marriage, but like most, you want to do it in the quickest and most inexpensive way possible. Getting an attorney to represent your interests is always a good idea, but what if you don’t have many assets or any issues that warrant the cost? You have the option to file pro se (meaning, representing oneself) for an uncontested end to your marriage.
Divorce without a lawyer can be scary. However, for many, it’s the simplest way to get out without the courtroom battle. There are a few things that you need to consider before you decide to go the route of a pro se uncontested divorce.
Understanding Your Options
A contested divorce means that one party is suing the other one to break their marital ties. In previous days, you had to include grounds for the divorce. People would have to state adultery, abandonment, or one of the numerous other reasons. Today, courts in Texas don’t need a reason. Being incompatible is reason enough to sever ties.
In many instances, one party doesn’t want to end the union, or there may be issues about child custody and assets. However, if you want out, then you have a couple of options. You can choose between a contested and uncontested divorce. Your situation will dictate what type of case you need to file.
The advantages of a pro se dissolution are that the cost is significantly lower because you don’t typically use an attorney, and there are no lengthy court battles. Here are some things you must agree on before you can file without a lawyer.
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Allocation of Assets
- Allocation of Debts
- Parenting Schedule-Visitations
- Parenting Responsibilities
The beauty of filing this method is that once you reach an agreement, there is no need to go through the long process of arguing over various issues. All you need to do is file the Original Petition for Divorce, fill out the divorce paperwork (including the Decree of Divorce) correctly, file the paperwork with the Court, and show up in court for a quick hearing to prove up the divorce. Pro se forms for an uncontested divorce are available at TexasLawHelp.org. Vonda is willing to help with these forms.
Just because you file an uncontested divorce doesn’t mean that everything will run smoothly. Every couple has unique situations that can come into play during the process. The people who fare the best from these court proceedings are those who have no children, no assets, and nothing to fight over. If both spouses have gainful employment, then it can be an easy open and shut case.
If You Don’t Have an Attorney – Your Rights Aren’t Protected
One of the reasons why so many get a contested divorce is because there are issues of contention. The court will protect your rights, but it takes an attorney to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. You may be in a hurry to get divorced and move on, but an uncontested case is not always the best. You need someone who is looking out for you and is concerned about the future. Often, going through a divorce is an emotional battle, and you can’t see past today. However, if you walk away from homes and cars that are rightfully yours, to move on quickly, then you may later regret having rushed through the divorce.
Should You File For Divorce Without A Lawyer?
It never hurts to have a lawyer review your case. Make an appointment and bring in all your documentation to the initial consultation. While a pro se, uncontested dissolution is meant to be a simple proceeding, you can have an attorney handle the paperwork on your behalf. Things that you may want to look at include retirement, child support, who pays for childhood expenses, parenting schedules, and alimony.
When you have these issues on the table, it’s not always the best thing to file pro se. In most cases, children need both parents in their life to ensure a well-rounded upbringing. If a couple doesn’t agree, they often put the children in the middle to get back at the ex. Having more personalized, comprehensive orders drafted and filed in the court protects everyone.
Covington Law Firm Can Help!
Before you sign your name to anything, call Family Law Attorney Vonda to help. It’s difficult to go back and revise agreements after things are settled. It’s best to ensure you are doing the right thing from the start. You may want the simple way out, but that may not be the best option for you or your children. Call (281) 503-7373 to see what rights you have in Texas and what needs to be done to protect your future.
Vonda also helps pro se parties complete the paperwork for an uncontested divorce. Schedule a two-hour consultation, and Vonda can break the consultation into multiple sessions, so you can meet with Vonda as you progress through the process. A two-hour consultation is $300. After two hours, Vonda’s rate is $300 per hour.