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New Texas forms irreconcilable with high asset divorces

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a landmark pronouncement on the topic of divorce, now allowing some low-income couples to divorce without an attorney if they do not have children.

While the "lawyerless divorce" is not yet in effect in the state, the state Supreme Court will allow standardized divorce forms to be published for public review. As early as this winter, certain Texans could find themselves trying to divorce without knowledgeable assistance. Those going through a high-asset divorce or other complicated scenario, however, will still benefit from counsel.

Years ago, Tom Wolfe predicted that legally parting ways with one's spouse could someday be as simple as dealing with a rental car. While that may not be entirely true nowadays, the new legal landscape in Texas gives couples the notion that divorce is a black-and-white, cut-and-dried process.

In the case that a divorce is uncontested, the couple has a prenuptial agreement, there are zero children involved, and little property to divide, standardized forms for divorce may make sense.

In today's world of shifting family composition and geographic dispersion of loved ones, divorces often require a more thorough look at such a serious transition. The rapidly-changing Texas economy has added to this mix of divorce-affecting elements, especially for spouses that have intricate assets.

In high asset divorces, property division can be both legally nuanced and emotionally charged. As a result, couples' attorneys take on the bulk of the burden, going-over homes, vehicles, and finances with a fine-toothed comb.

Without such scrutiny, either half of a divorcing couple could lose out on the assets they may be legally entitled to. In addition, navigating a divorce solo can add even more stress to an inherently confusing situation.

Source: KERA, "Could DIY divorce mean more exes in Texas?" KERA Staff, Nov. 15, 2012.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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