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Would filing for a Texas divorce online save time and money?

Individuals that live in Texas and are contemplating a divorce are likely aware that fairly recently the Texas Supreme Court made available an online form for filing for divorce. This was done in an effort to allow couples that lack the funding for a divorce to be able to still end their marriage. However, there is a very select population of couples looking to divorce that can benefit from filing in this manner.

More simply, these forms are only beneficial for couples looking to divorce that do not have children, do not have assets and were only married for a relatively short span of time. Unless a couple satisfies all of those conditions, there is a risk of an individual unknowingly giving up their rights, or even needing to appeal the case when filing online. An appeal would negate any savings from filing online, ending up increasing both the financial expenses and emotional toll associated with the end of the marriage.

Additionally, an online filing could enable a soon-to-be ex to hide assets. One family law attorney describes this trend as follows: "One party may be in control of all the assets, and the other party may not have any knowledge of it." This means that when the spouse with all of the knowledge files, the results could be hugely detrimental to the other spouse, but the other spouse would never know.

Other problems that can arise with a divorce are not rooted in deception but simply a lack of understanding about the law and the rights individuals divorcing are afforded. Couples that have property, children or have been married for a long stretch of time could risk negatively impacting their right to spousal support, child support, child visitation or their share of community property if they file for divorce online.

Speaking to an experienced family law attorney can assure that an individual is not duped in their divorce. While a divorce is the end of a marriage, it is also the beginning of a new set of living circumstances with a happier ending. Retaining a legal advocate in this process will ensure that a divorcing individual begins their new life under the best possible circumstances.

Source: KFDA "Filing for divorce online," Jessica Abuchaibe, April 1, 2013

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