Finishing a Pro Se or “Do It Yourself” Divorce Quickly

I frequently get calls from people who filed their own divorce but need help finishing the job. The need for help generally stems from one of two sources:

  1. The forms have become overwhelming and confusing;
  2. The Bexar County Staff Attorney’s Office informs the person that the wait time for a court date is approximately 6 months after they turn in their completed paperwork – and they want to get divorced “now.”

Regardless of the reason, we offer a very cost effective, flat fee solution to finishing the job. Our services always include drafting a streamlined and legally accurate Final Decree of Divorce (because the pro se forms, frankly, present a mangled and confusing array of options and most people’s do-it-yourself paperwork really won’t produce the outcomes they intended). When transfer of real estate is involved (e.g. one spouse is giving the other the marital home), we also prepare the deed paperwork and ensure it gets properly recorded in the county’s official deed records. Sadly, I have yet to see someone’s do-it-yourself paperwork that is poised to properly transfer legal title to real estate. That shortcoming, of course, wouldn’t become apparent until months or years later when the spouse who got the house tries to refinance or sell it.

How fast can I help someone get divorced? Assuming the 60-day waiting period has elapsed, I’ve gotten a formerly pro se client divorced in as little as four days. In most other cases, the job’s done in about two weeks. It all depends on where the client is in the time line and whether the soon-to-be-ex-spouse will cooperate in quickly correcting the paperwork (and in some cases, no cooperation from the soon-to-be-ex is even necessary). How long it will take depends on the specific facts of your situation. We’ll evaluate your case at a free consult to help you decide. All you need to do is bring in all of your paperwork for our review.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm. The Cramp Law Firm provides a spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.