Filing for divorce online - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Filing for divorce online

Posted: Updated:

Some people in our area are taking advantage of an online divorce form, possibly cheating spouses out of assets.

Some people are filing divorce online because it's cheaper, others for more deceptive reasons. A local attorney says the Texas Supreme Court made an online form option available about six months ago for those who can not afford an attorney.

Family Law Attorney at Woodburn & Watkins, LLP, Joshua Woodburn says, "There's a lot of people who are using the system who don't, who aren't poor, who aren't indigent, who don't need to use these services, but are doing so. In some cases to hide assets from the other spouse."

At the same time, low-income individuals filing online may not know what rights they're giving up. Woodburn says the process can be very complicated in Texas as far as figuring out what's community property, right of reimbursement, awarded spousal support, and child support.

He says, "One party may be in control of all the assets, and other party may not have any knowledge of it. So the forms that are being promulgated are really, can be detrimental to the person who doesn't have knowledge of that information." Amarillo Family Support Services Crisis Services Coordinator Angie Stoval says, "When they show up in court, they don't exactly feel prepared. They feel intimidated by that process."

For example, a wife filed claiming she does not have children thinking it's not an issue for them, but she really had three. Woodburn says, "The father may not have had any right to see his children, and the mother may not have had any right to see, to have any child support, or any other help. Just because she didn't understand what the forms were saying."

Woodburn says the forms are best for people who do not have kids or assets, and have been married for a brief period of time. He says, "The biggest problem that may occur is they approve the forms as they're written. And that could mean that you need to appeal that case and that can make things much more expensive than the original divorce would be."

For free legal advice, you can contact Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas at (806) 373-6808.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Single car wreck kills one man

    Single car wreck kills one man

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:59:01 GMT
    One man is dead after a single car wreck on I-40.Police say Aaron Clay Crawford, 26, died after he was ejected from a vehicle Saturday afternoon.
    One man is dead after a single car wreck on I-40.Police say Aaron Clay Crawford, 26, died after he was ejected from a vehicle Saturday afternoon.
  • One dead after motorcycle wreck

    One dead after motorcycle wreck

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:58:14 GMT
    Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a man was pronounced dead after a wreck involving two motorcycles. Police say two men were traveling south on the Canyon E-way near the Hillside exit when one of the motorcycles stuck the back of a Toyota Camry. One male killed and the other motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital. Both the driver and the passenger in the Toyota were also taken to the hospital with minor injures.
    Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a man was pronounced dead after a wreck involving two motorcycles. Police say two men were traveling south on the Canyon E-way near the Hillside exit when one of the motorcycles stuck the back of a Toyota Camry. One male killed and the other motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital. Both the driver and the passenger in the Toyota were also taken to the hospital with minor injures.
  • Community helps support para-athletics in Amarillo

    Community helps support para-athletics in Amarillo

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:43:42 GMT
    Back in February we introduced you to Emilee Hibish, now a Senior at River Road High School. For years she was forced to sit on the side line watching her friends compete in sports because she was wheelchair bound. 
    Back in February we introduced you to Emilee Hibish, now a Senior at River Road High School. For years she was forced to sit on the side line watching her friends compete in sports because she was wheelchair bound.