Texas High Court Moves Forward to Create Divorce Forms

Ignoring the State Bar of Texas' suggestion to hold off, the Texas Supreme Court has decided not to suspend the work of task force charged with creating uniform forms for divorce.

In a letter today, Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson told State Bar President Bob Black that he planned to refer the divorce forms created by the high court's task force to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee.

Last year, the Supreme Court created the Uniform Forms Task Force with the goal of making it easier for Texans who can't afford lawyers' fees to have access to the courts. Now, the task force has created divorce forms that, once approved by the Supreme Court, would be accepted in any Texas court.

But some lawyers who practice family law argue that the legal system is too complicated to be handled with just a form. And last week, the State Bar of Texas' board of directors voted to urge the Supreme Court to stop the process.

But Jefferson said work on the forms would not stop. In the letter, he said he expects the court to receive the Advisory Committee’s recommendations in April and to review them in May.

Jefferson encouraged the State Bar to present recommendations for improving the forms. He told Black that the forms would be approved only if they are “substantively correct and reasonably calculated to accomplish the goal of greater access to the courts."

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