Fight Over Family Law Forms Moves to Legislature

, Texas Lawyer


The Texas Family Law Foundation has gone to the Legislature with its battle against pro se divorce forms. The bill addresses some of their concerns regarding how people can use the forms and how the forms instruct courts to divide retirement benefits, says Texas Family Law Foundation lobbyist and Austin solo Steve Bresnen

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What's being said

  • Mark

    I think that it is a violation of seperation of powers for the legislature to decide which forms a court should use. I understand that the court is trying to make the best of the bad situation of pro-ses trying to do their own divorce. The real problem is that they do not understand the law and too emotionally involved in their own divorce to do it in a decent manner. They use the forms from a do-it-yorself book but do not know how to prove up even a non-contested divorce.

  • Family Appellate Attorney

    The forms generated by and blessed by the Texas Supreme Court are not limited in usage to indigent clients who cannot afford an attorney. The forms are available to all litigants seeking a divorce who do not have children or real property. In those instances, a retirement account may be the largest asset in the community estate. With the current form, it would be quite easy for a less than honorable spouse (remember these folks are getting divorced and are no longer "in love"), to use the form and award himself/herself 100% of their retirement account and leave the other less sophisticate spouse with nothing (because this is what the Supreme Court has recommended) and no recourse on appeal because the value of the retirment account was never required to be revealed, which would be a basic requirement for an appellate challenge to a just and right division. If these forms are meant for indigent litigants seeking a divorce, why is it necessary to include a provision for the division of retirement accounts?????

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