Risking Divorce Without An Attorney?
You and your spouse may have talked through the issues in your divorce and be close to an agreement about what you want to do. However, it’s still important to meet with a lawyer so you can understand your rights, obligations and how to protect your interests. What you don’t know can hurt you.
I’m attorney Veronica Garza, and I take the time to sit down with you, discuss your family’s situation and explain your options. At my law firm, The Garza Law Firm, I help you understand the law as it applies to your circumstances and help you make informed, meaningful decisions for you and your family’s future. Call 361-248-5753 to schedule a consultation today.
Pro Se Divorces In Texas
With the availability of information on the Internet, some people think they can handle their divorce themselves. This is known as pro se divorce. While it is possible to obtain a divorce in Texas without hiring a lawyer, the ultimate cost of your divorce may be much higher if you don’t get legal advice.
The law is very technical and demanding. Deadlines must be met, notice and filing requirements must be done correctly, or you can damage your case, lose important points and wind up with a final court order that is far from ideal.
Problems With Do-It-Yourself Divorces
Here are some issues that people often run into with pro se or do-it-yourself divorce:
- Serving your spouse: Before your divorce can move forward, you must serve notice on the other party. If you don’t do this properly, your divorce may be delayed.
- Community property division: Without an in-depth understanding of Texas community property law, it’s easy to make assumptions that later turn out to be wrong. For example, you may end up being responsible for debts that your spouse agreed to pay. You may also not receive assets that you are entitled to receive. Once your property settlement is approved by a judge, changes to a property settlement are very difficult and expensive to obtain.
- Alimony: Do you have the right to receive (or the obligation to pay) spousal maintenance? Without legal advice, you may not know how judges have ruled in cases similar to yours.
- Child custody and support: If you have children, determining how you will coparent and support your children with your ex is the most important issue in your divorce. If you end up with an arrangement that does not work, fixing it later can be difficult and expensive.
While you can draft divorce documents yourself, most people don’t know the full implications of many elements of a settlement agreement because they have never actually drafted one before. I understand how these agreements work and explain every step to you so you can make accurate choices that will work for you and your children.
Without my guidance, you could end up signing an agreement without fully understanding what it means. In addition, you could miss numerous important details, such as stating who has the right to claim children as dependents when paying federal income taxes.