Family Law

Family Lawyers Object to New Pro Se Divorce Forms Approved by Texas Supremes

The Texas Supreme Court has approved pro se divorce forms for couples without children or property, despite objections from family law attorneys.

The court is accepting public comment on the forms, but substantial changes are not expected, the Austin American-Statesman and Texas Lawyer’s Tex Parte Blog report.

In its order approving the forms, the court said it was confident they would help address the “burgeoning population” of litigants who can’t afford a lawyer or can’t obtain one through a legal service provider.

Three justices said in a dissenting statement that they feared the forms would result in more people representing themselves even when they can afford lawyers. The statement also expressed concern that litigants would be lulled into believing the forms would adequately address their interests.

Lawyer Steve Bresnen, speaking on behalf of the state bar’s Family Law Section, expressed fears of litigant mistakes. “We think do-it-yourself litigation is dangerous, and we don’t think these forms are going to protect people from hurting themselves” in litigation, he told the American-Statesman.

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