Getting a divorce is difficult in a lot of ways. One of the most stressful aspects are the financial issues. From dividing up properties to tax problems, divorce can put a large financial burden on both parties.
On top of those issues are the legal fees. Depending on the state you are in, a filing fee can be upwards of $400. In Texas, divorce filing fees are between $250-$350. Especially at a time when your personal finances are put under great strain, this is no small cost. However, finances should not prevent a person from getting out of an unhappy situation.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to attempt to waive the divorce filing fee in Texas.
Requesting a waiver
Forms are available in two formats: (1) electronic fillable, and (2) printable. The documents that you need to file to request a filing fee waiver include a Petition/Motion to waive the filing fee and an Order for the judge to use to grant or deny the request.
States with shorter documents include prompts asking for information to gauge your income and expenses, while states with longer documents require you to fill out more detailed financial information in the form of a supporting affidavit or financial statement. The length of the waiver request documents is between 2-5 pages by state.
In the state of Texas, the information you will be required to provide through such paperwork if you wish to receive a fee waiver includes:
- Acknowledgment of any government assistance you get due to your finances.
- Your household income, calculated to represent how much you make after
- A list of any and all financial dependents, i.e. children.
- Documentation of your expenses.
There are a few situations that will virtually guarantee that your waiver request gets accepted. These include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:
- You are currently receiving government benefits due to poverty, for example, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, Medicaid, supplemental security income, or public housing.
- Your legal representation is pro bono, that is to say, you are represented by a free lawyer provided for purposes of legal aid. It sometimes also occurs that legal aid organizations receive applications from needy individuals and are unable to provide a lawyer. In such cases, you will also likely be awarded a waiver.
- The court finds that you lack sufficient funds to pay for your family’s basic needs.
Once you have filled out the fee waiver documents required in your state, file them with the Court Clerk. You may turn this in with the rest of the documents needed to open a divorce case. The judge will review the fee waiver and then decide whether to grant it. If your request for a fee waiver is denied, you can file a motion requesting that the judge review it.
If your fee waiver is granted, you will be obligated to inform the court if your financial situation improves. A copy of the fee waiver documents you filed must also be given to your spouse. The easiest way to fulfill this duty is to simply include this with the other documents you filed when you deliver a copy to your spouse or his/her attorney.
Filing paperwork needed for divorce is quite a hefty job. In times of stress, it may not be a bad idea to look for legal help. US Legal PRO will do the tough paperwork including submitting a divorce filing fee waiver — get in touch today for more info.