Wednesday, March 07, 2007

do it yourself divorce in Texas Part 1

UPDATE: I now offer online forms that are created and reviewed by an attorney (me). Once created, the documents are forwarded to you with instructions on how to proceed in representing yourself in your own divorce. Visit my website at for further information.

This is a topic requested by a reader of this blog, and I thought it may be an interesting read and topic for some of you. This series will be a very general type of discussion of the procedures involved and may or may not apply to you. I will simply discuss a simple uncontested divorce in Texas with no children or no property. If you have children, or you have property, most of the procedures will apply to you, but your documents must have more information in them.

Just to be clear, I am not your attorney. I do not represent you. If you would like me to represent you, go to my website and send me an email. Once you have paid my retainer and signed a retainer agreement, then and only then will I represent you. Additionally, I am not advising you to take any action or refrain from taking any action...I am simply pulling back the curtain a bit to shed some light on things you may not know so that you can help yourself.

Part 1 of this discussion will begin with you reading my prior post on "where to file". If you are reading this, we know you are married and we know you want a divorce, so you have to figure out where to file. Typically it will be in the county where you are living, if you have lived there for longer than 90 days. Again, read my prior post. If you are still unclear, then your divorce may be more detailed than this blog is set up for. You will need an attorney if the answer is not abundantly clear.

Once you have determined where you are going to file, the first thing you should do is contact the "district clerk of court" in the county where you are going to file and ask them if they have any information packets for "pro se" divorces. "Pro se" simply means you represent yourself. Many courts have information for you that will be VERY beneficial in getting you through the process. DO NOT call the courts and ask them how to do it, or what you need to do because they will simply turn you away with the "we cannot provide legal advise" answer. All you are looking for is preprinted information that the district courts of that county may have prepared for pro se litigants (you). If they do not have any, fine. Where I practice in Dallas County and Collin County, I am pretty sure they both have preprinted information for pro se litigants when they are doing their own divorce.

If you do not know how to find your district clerk, log onto and enter "District Clerk _____ County" with the blank being your county.

That is it for Part 1. I am going to keep this simple for you and for myself, so we are going to take it slowly and methodically. In Part 2 we will talk about the documents that you need to create that will need to be filed with the District Clerk of Court that you identified above.

UPDATE: I now offer online forms that are created and reviewed by an attorney (me). Once created, the documents are forwarded to you with instructions on how to proceed in representing yourself in your own divorce. Visit my website at for further information.

The information contained in this blog is provided for informational (and sometimes entertainment) purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. I can guarantee you that I am not covering every facet of the family code, and there may be hidden gems in the Family Code that could make or break your case based upon your specific fact situation. No recipients of content from this blog, retained client or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice. ALL CASES ARE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF THE FACTS PARTICULAR TO YOUR CASE; THEREFORE YOU NEED A LAWYER TO DISCUSS THOSE SPECIFIC FACTS. I expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the content of this blog. Talk to a lawyer first, preferably me, it is that simple!


Anonymous said...

Ahh...will I be a pro at the family law essay questions on the upcoming TX bar exam upon reading your blog in addition to my studies?
(if I fail the bar...I'm contacting the law offices of....for ill-begotten advice---seriously, I'm kidding---I know what it takes and---hopefully having passed in another state--MD--a few years ago, I'll know somewhat what to expect...)

Chris Schmiedeke said...

TV - i guess i had better update my disclaimer..."to all law students and attorneys preparing for the not rely on the rantings in this blog for assistance in getting through school or passing the bar....failure to heed this warning may result in you working for me as a paralegal."

Good luck on your test!

Stealth said...

I rely on the rantings on this blog damnit.

Cobb said...

Give us your angle on Shaquanda Cotton.

Chris Schmiedeke said...

Huh? Is that a new fabric?

Anonymous said...

I live in the land of lincoln. my wife and 3 kids left me around 7/2005....and now reside in Houston.

We were talking through issues,and getting back, however, she filed, as opposed to getting some guidance.

Questions : this is supposed to be an ammiable split...objects to a judge all the kids future, and the property we will ahndle, unless we don't agree....then she requests the court to order agreements.

at the bottom of the 1st page, who is the person that fills in state of.....County of......Personally appeared before me...........
deposes in the county/state......he delievered wthin the named defendants in pers........
name month day year hour minute place.......
signed and sworn by notary.

Can this all be done at a courthouse (mine) for a notary's fee?

Will he/she know how to get it back to the attorny/district clerk in Texas?

riyad abc said...

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