POSTED: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 5:14pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 10:47am
Tyler, TX (KETK) — Texas is about to make it easier for the poor to get a divorce.
We already have no-fault divorce in Texas. We’re about to have no-lawyer divorce, if you meet the requirements.
And the primary requirement? You’re broke.
Despite the best laid plans, and elaborate preparations, some marriages just don’t last. And now, the Texas Supreme Court is making it easier for poor folks to end a marriage. It’s called a do-it-yourself divorce, and if you can’t afford an attorney, it could be for you.
Cheryl Wulf is a family law attorney in Tyler. “It’s for those people that have no property, no children and they just really want a divorce,” Wulf says.
The money saved, may not be huge, $260 bucks in Smith County. But if you are indigent, that’s a lot.
“Just because you have no real property, doesn’t mean you don’t have some property that needs to be addressed, like a 401K,” Wulf says. “I mean, that’s an asset. And if you had some money in that 401K and you didn’t address it in the decree, what if somebody comes back later.”
There is a downside for taxpayers though, according to District Clerk Lois Rogers. If you don’t pay the filing fee, the county does. That’s why some are challenging the poverty claims of some filers.
The District Clerk in Tarrant County has already said he will challenge many of the indIgent petitions.
In other kinds of cases, he says he has gotten as many as half thrown out.
In Smith County, a judge will rule on whether you are truly indigent, or just trying to save a few bucks.