Texas Divided Over Simple Divorce Forms


If you're filing for divorce in Pasadena, chances are you've found yourself wishing there was one easy form to fill out and the whole mess would be done. In Texas, such a form could very well become a reality. But not everybody in the Lone Star State thinks an easy divorce form is a great idea.

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a letter to Texas State Bar president Bob Black, pushing the idea of simplified divorce forms which could be reviewed by the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. The forms have been in the works for nearly two years and are aimed at helping the millions of Texans who can't afford legal representation.

Proponents of the forms say that too many confused and unqualified Texans are forced to represent themselves in divorce court since there isn't enough legal aid to go around. Forms like the proposed ones in Texas are the norm in all but 12 other states, and champions of the cause say it's high time that Texas made getting a divorce easier. The legal system in Texas is notoriously clogged and backlogged and proponents also are hoping these forms will help alleviate system strain.

Opponents of the forms, on the other hand, argue that average people wouldn't know what they were filling out and something that was supposed to make things easier would complicate the divorce process even further. Judge Judy Warne told The Daily Caller that arrogance, not financial strain, is why people don't hire lawyers and the forms would only encourage folks to try to skate around the system.

"They don't know what to do with them," Warne said. "They think this is the magic form that's going to fix everything."

Other opponents say more manpower in free legal aid is the answer. Still, people in favor of the forms claim that family lawyers are against the forms because of greed and fear that the forms could potentially hurt their profits.

The state Supreme Court is expected to have a ruling on the forms as early as April.