The Texas Supreme Court is contemplating a move that would
allow cash-strapped couple to obtain a divorce without having to hire a divorce attorney.
The court sees a growing trend of people representing
themselves during divorce proceedings. Though there are not any statistics,
Texas courts say that the majority of people seeking dissolution represent
themselves. People seeking divorce can expect to pay close to a hundred dollars
an hour for representation.
Thirty-six states already offer self-help forms for
divorcing couples. But divorce lawyers are fighting the move in Texas. State
Bar Association President told the Wall Street Journal, “The client and the
system are far better served by having a lawyer.”
The State Bar is also asking the court to suspend the
initiative siting that there isn’t sufficient data to show the need of a
do-it-yourself divorce form.
Judge Judy Parker said that self-represented plaintiffs need
more “hand-holding” and a simple form could prevent the court from getting
Texas divorce attorneys also feel that people of means would use the forms since the
court clerks cannot ask if the people filling out the petition if they are
While the forms may be useful to couples who don’t have the
means to pay for a divorce lawyer,
wealthy couples can benefit from the representation of an attorney since they
generally have more assets and property to divide and they will be granted a