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Pro Se Divorce Handbook: Representing Yourself in Family Court

This article provides information for those representing themselves in a simple (uncontested) divorce, along with discussions about division of marital property and issues concerning children. Also provides tips on court etiquette and deadlines. It was written by the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

 

What is in the TYLA pro se divorce handbook?

INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................1

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET STARTED.......................................1

MARITAL PROPERTY ....................................................................................2

Presumption of Community Property...............................................................2

Separate Property ...........................................................................................3

Claims for Reimbursement ..............................................................................3

Premarital and Marital Property Agreements...................................................3

Division of Community Property ......................................................................4

Spousal Maintenance or Alimony.....................................................................4

ISSUES CONCERNING CHILDREN...............................................................5

Parenting Plan..................................................................................................5

Parenting Coordinator and Parenting Facilitator .............................................5

Duration of a Child Custody and Child Support Order ....................................6

Child Custody ..................................................................................................6

Supervised Visitation........................................................................................7

The Right to Decide Where a Child Will Live...................................................7

Standard Possession Order ............................................................................7

Expanded Standard Possession Order.............................................................8

Establishing Child Support ...............................................................................8

Additional Factors in Determining Child Support .............................................9

Medical Expenses as Additional Child Support.................................................9

Employer’s Order to Withhold...........................................................................9

Modifying Child Support..................................................................................10

GETTING STARTED ......................................................................................10

Filing the Petition ............................................................................................10

Notifying Your Spouse ....................................................................................11

The Answer......................................................................................................12

The Counterpetition.........................................................................................12

Middle of the Case (the “Waiting Period”)........................................................12

CONCLUDING DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS....................................................13

Timing Issues ..................................................................................................13

Final Decree of Divorce ..................................................................................13

Court Mandated Parenting Courses................................................................14

The Day of the Divorce ...................................................................................14

REVIEWING THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE PROCESS...........................15

HELPFUL TIPS ..............................................................................................20

COMMON WORDS IN A TEXAS DIVORCE...................................................20

LEGAL RESOURCES .....................................................................................26

Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division....................................26

Legal Aid Offices..............................................................................................26

Lawyer Referral Services.................................................................................26

SAMPLE DOCUMENTS ..................................................................................27

Appendix A – Sample Prove Up Questions for Uncontested Divorce Without Children...=27

Appendix B – Sample Prove Up Questions for Uncontested Divorce Without Children.....29

Appendix C – Austin Form..............................................................................31

Click the link below for the full brochure.