If you’re looking to get divorced in Bexar County, it is possible to fill out your own paperwork and go through the process yourself, and the Bexar County District Clerk’s website even has a page linking to a number of helpful forms to get you started (which we have on our site as well). The issue, though, once you get started, is how to finish.
Even if you’re thinking about a do-it-yourself divorce, the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance recommends that you check in with a lawyer along the way. First of all, you want to make sure that it’s the best fit possible for your case. It could be that you have a very simple case that would require relatively few billable hours for a lawyer to take care of it.
But you could have a more complicated divorce than you think. You might have an asset a judge might consider separate property instead of community property, for instance. Without a lawyer reviewing your case with you, you won’t know what you’re entitled to and what you might be sacrificing in the interest of just doing it yourself.
It can also take more time to do a divorce yourself, even if you do everything right. If you file paperwork incorrectly, of course, you’ll have to redo it, which can delay your divorce. Also, because lawyers like ours work so often with the district judges who sign divorce decrees, we’re more likely to be able to catch their attention and expedite cases.
When you pay for a divorce with a law firm like the Law Office of Lisa Vance, part of what you’re paying for is the expertise and experience we have in settling divorces, and part of what you’re paying for is the access to judges and clerks that the general population just doesn’t have.
If you are filing a divorce yourself, remember that the divorce petition has to be accompanied by Standing Orders. Those establish the guidelines for how both parties will behave during the divorce, as well as how the children will be as protected (as much as possible) from the disruption of divorce.
There’s also a financial form called the Inventory and Appraisement, which accounts for assets and debts within the marital estate. Since divorce is a legal process which largely deals with untangling two people’s money and property, this is an essential form in any divorce – and it’s okay if just looking at it keeps you from wanting to go through with a do-it-yourself divorce!
There’s also an Income and Expense form which can be useful in determining child support or spousal maintenance, if the case involves either or both of those possibilities.
Finally, they provide a Rules for Mediation form, if the other forms give you enough pause to consider doing the divorce entirely on your own, and you want to investigate how mediation can help you settle your divorce, it runs through all the things to think about there.
The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance can help you determine if you can successfully do your divorce yourself as well as whether you should. If you feel that you need just a little help, or want a lot more help once an initial consultation helps you determine that, we’re there for you. While your inclination might be that going without a lawyer can save you money, it can actually save you money in the long run to get a lawyer on board to help you.