Are Online Divorces Real?

If you have been researching divorces online, you have probably seen advertisements for an “online divorce”. These are generally companies that claim that they can provide you with an online divorce that is often less expensive than the cost of filing a divorce at the courthouse. In reality, there is no such thing as an online divorce.

All divorces must be filed with the District Clerk for the County of Residence and Domicile for one of the spouses. You cannot get a divorce without a District Judge granting the divorce. The judge must make a ruling about the following in order to grant a divorce:

  1.  Jurisdiction over the people and the subject matter;
  2.  The grounds for divorce;
  3.  Whether reconciliation is possible;
  4.  If the Court has jurisdiction over the people, the Court must award or divide all community property and confirm all separate property;
  5.  If the parties have plead reimbursement claims, fraud claims, or waste of estate claims, or any other claims, the Court must rule on those claims; and
  6.  If there are children and the court has jurisdiction over the children, then the Court must determine a parenting plan that at a minimum provides for the conservatorship of the children, the possession schedule for each parent, and the support of the children.


These companies that advertise an online divorce are simply charging you for forms and some will even file the case for you, but then leave you to resolve the case. Most of the time these forms are not even the proper forms for Texas and are rejected by the filing system. There are forms for filing a divorce for free in the law library. While these forms will be accepted by the court clerk, the difficult part of the case is not the filing, but the resolution of the above requirements to get the divorce granted. You will still have to properly serve the other spouse and follow the Texas Family Code and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. You may even have to do a trial if agreements cannot be reached.

To save money, people make mistakes that are very costly. People who represent themselves do not know how to properly change title and often leave out property that should have been included. These people are later involved in litigation to divide undivided community property that has now greatly increased in value. Often the property that they did award has title issues that cannot be corrected years later and can cost them far more than hiring an attorney would have cost in the first place. Sometimes they end up with issues with the Internal Revenue Service because their decree of divorce did not handle the issues. At a minimum, people should hire an attorney to coach them through the process and to draft the decree of divorce.

An experienced divorce attorney can help you resolve your case as efficiently and quickly as possible. If you reach a settlement and are represented by an attorney, it is possible that you can avoid ever setting foot in a courthouse. Most Courts permit attorneys to submit agreed decrees of divorce and affidavits of prove-up to avoid having a hearing, but do not offer this for people that are representing themselves. While this may feel like an “online” divorce, it is not what these companies are selling. Avoid wasting money on these forms. Your money would be better spent paying for a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Call Robin R. Zegen to schedule a consultation today.”