TEXAS FAMILY LAW JUDGE: ONLINE DIVORCE RARELY A GOOD IDEA

Almost everything that can be purchased these days can be purchased online,including the papers with which you can file for a Fort Worth divorce.

You can’t actually buy the divorce online, but you can buy the forms, fill them out yourself and file them with a Tarrant County court. Anyone tempted to take this theoretically cheap and easy way out of a marriage should be cautioned, however: unless you understand Texas family law, you could be buying years of trouble in critical matters such as child custody, property division and spousal support.

There are 226 chapters in the Texas Family Code. Few people are going to be able to read through and learn to understand those legalese-packed laws, making it very possible that they will unknowingly create lasting legal problems on important matters.

A recent TV report about online divorce forms told about a couple that had downloaded the forms and was ready to proceed when a judge found a big problem: they had not decided on child custody. He ordered them to hire attorneys.

The attorney for the woman found another problem: because she didn’t understand family law, she had unwittingly been ready to sign away part of her husband’s benefits.

The lawyer caught the mistake and the woman got the portion of the benefits to which she was entitled.

A Texas judge told a reporter that most couples simply don’t have the legal knowledge needed to fill out the forms correctly. He said the online divorce forms work “for very few people.”

It makes much more sense for most people to get experienced legal guidance on critical divorce issues such as child custody, spousal support and property division.