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Texas judge: Online divorce not a good idea

Among the millions of things you can buy online are pizza, books, a car, gold, ammo and a divorce. Well, you can't actually buy a San Antonio divorce online, but you can buy forms to fill out and file with a court.

While that might seem like a fast, easy and cheap way to get a divorce, it's most often a recipe for a disaster that could have lifelong consequences for participants.

Among the many problems with buying divorce forms online and filling them out yourself is the fact that there are 226 chapters in the Texas Family Code. Unless you're willing to read through them and are able to understand the legalese involved, it's likely that you are going to make mistakes in a legal action that is going to have an impact for years, and maybe even the rest of your life.

In one case, a person had completed their downloaded forms and was ready to file them with the court when the judge found some problems. The main problem: child custody had not been decided.

Another problem with their forms: the wife had not realized she was entitled to a portion of her husband's benefits.

The judge ordered the couple to hire attorneys. The attorney for the woman caught the neglected benefits, ensuring "she was able to get a portion of that," he said. "Otherwise, she would not have."

A Texas judge told a TV station reporting on online divorces that most couples simply don't understand how to fill out the forms correctly and that the online process works "for very few people."

For help and guidance with crucial divorce matters such as child custody, property division and spousal support, speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: KXXV, "Online divorce option increasing," April 8, 2013

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