Indigent Divorce in Texas Quick Facts
Whether it’s a divorce, child custody dispute, or issues with child support, family law can be stressful. You need a Houston Divorce Attorney that has experience. Contact The Larson Law Office today for a free case evaluation: (713) 221-9088
In today’s society, many people live paycheck to paycheck. And when you are living this way, you don’t often think about setting money aside in case you need an attorney someday.
But when your marriage has taken a bad turn and you finally decide that splitting up is in everyone’s best interest, not having any money saved can leave you in a bad position.
How do you get a lawyer if you have no money set aside? And how do you get divorced if you have no money to hire an attorney or pay court fees?
The short answer is that you can get divorced when you have little or no money for legal fees. Lawyers and judges refer to this as an indigent divorce.
Today we will discuss some quick facts about indigent divorce in Texas and whether it is the right option for you.
The Good News: You Can File for Divorce for Free
When you file your divorce paperwork, with or without an attorney, you need to pay a filing fee. However, a person can apply for low-income status, allowing them to file for an indigent divorce so the filing fee can be waived.
Texas has set up a system where it is possible to get that fee waived. You must first fill out and file an affidavit of indigency form.
When you file, the district clerk will set a hearing date. At the hearing, you present your financial situation to a judge and ask them to waive filing fees. If the court approves your request, you can move forward without paying these fees.
And while that may seem like good news, there are pitfalls that come with self-representation.
Keep in mind that now, the ball is completely in your court. And if you have no prior knowledge of divorce law or procedure, you may be in for a bumpy ride.
The Bad News: Prepare Yourself for a Possibly Bumpy Ride When Filing for an Indigent Divorce
Even if you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce, here are some ways that self-representation can cost you in the long run.
Lack of Objectivity & Legal Knowledge
These two factors can cause a cascade of issues when representing yourself in your divorce.
First, you do not know divorce procedure or law so you are forced to “wing it” in court. You may also miss crucial deadlines or fail to provide adequate discovery. And because this is your marriage and your life, your objectivity will naturally be clouded.
This typically causes pro se litigants to ramble on about things that are of little to no legal significance. And this leads us to our next downfall.
Frustrating the Judge
Judges are human too. And even though the judge may sympathize with your plight as you attempt self-representation, the truth is that judges lose patience just like anyone else.
Judges have full dockets.
They simply do not have time to listen to self-represented clients spell out grievances against their spouses that hold no legal weight or significance.
So if your spouse has a lawyer, the judge will likely turn to them for most of the answers they seek. This puts you at a decided disadvantage and may result in getting far less than you deserve.
Can I Get Texas Legal Aid for Divorce?
There are free legal clinics that will help you. However, keep in mind that many of these clinics have extremely long waiting lists and strict rules about who qualifies for their services.
Furthermore, many only take divorces that are uncomplicated or where the spouses have no children or property to divide.
Do Not Delay – Speak to A Houston Divorce Attorney Today
The attorneys at the Larson Law Office are happy to look over your situation and see if there is any way we can help. In the end, hiring an attorney can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. It can also save you from ending up with an unfair or unjust result that you are stuck with for years to come.
So call us today or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation with one of our lawyers. We look forward to serving you.