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Online divorce kits are being utilized now more than ever. In today's struggling economy, many people are looking for ways to save money and couples are choosing to represent themselves in their divorces in order to avoid paying high attorney's fees. There are numerous resources available online that provide divorce kits to help you represent yourself in your own divorce. You have to be careful, however, that the kit you choose is accurate and legally sound. The following are five common mistakes made when using online divorce kits: Mistake #1: Not properly serving the other spouse Although many online divorce kits provide you with the documents you need to get divorced, they don't always provide you with proper or thorough instructions on how to navigate the legal maze to obtain your divorce. Many times, they do not give any advice at all about how to make sure your spouse is properly served.  In any lawsuit, all parties must be "served." This means that your spouse must be properly notified of the divorce proceedings. Your spouse must either be personally handed the divorce papers by a constable or sheriff, or she or he has to properly execute a "Waiver of Service." Mailing the papers to your spouse is not proper service. A party can sign a "Waiver of Service" to avoid having to be personally served by a constable or sheriff. However, a very common mistake people make when using a "Waiver of Service" from an online kit is having the spouse sign the waiver before the Petition for Divorce is filed. Many divorce kits fail to tell you that this Waiver of Service must be signed after you file your Petition for Divorce, or it is not valid. If you show up to court ready to finalize your divorce with all of your documents, and your Waiver of Service was signed by your spouse before your Petition for Divorce was filed, the judge will turn you away and make sure you properly serve your spouse before your divorce can be granted. Mistake #2: Failing to properly calculate child support Many online divorce kits do not provide you all of the information necessary to properly calculate the amount of child support your spouse will need to pay. Some services will tell you that the child support amount for 1 child is 20%, 2 children is 25%, etc. Although this is basically true, it does not take into account many other factors that the court must consider. The percentage of child support is calculated from the parent's net resources. This means the parent's take home pay after taxes and after the cost of medical insurance for the child(ren). Also, most online services do not explain that if the parent who is going to pay child support has other children, then the percentage amount of child support will be different.

Mistake #3: Leaving out required provisions in the Decree Most online divorce kits are provided by national businesses that use cookie-cutter, boiler plate language. This can be dangerous because divorce laws vary from state to state. In Texas, for example, there are many provisions, or statements, that must be in your divorce decree for it to be valid and enforceable. For instance, if you have children, there must be a statement about whether or not there has been a history or pattern of family violence in your relationship in the last two years. Many divorce kits neglect to include this provision and others that are required by law. If you are using a kit to get divorced in Texas, you should make sure your divorce kit is prepared by someone familiar with Texas laws and procedures so that you avoid using a divorce kit that does not include important statements required by law. Mistake #4: Using an unenforceable order Many divorce kits provide you with a final decree of divorce that is not enforceable. This means that if one of the parties does not follow the terms of the order (such as visitation or child support), then you cannot take your spouse back to court to enforce the order. In order to hold a party responsible for what he or she has been ordered to do, the order must contain very specific language. The problem with many online divorce kits is that they provide fill-in-the-blank, or "check-the-box" provisions that are not specific enough for a court to hold the party responsible for the terms of the order. This can be very devastating for a parent, for example, to learn that he or she cannot take the other parent to court to enforce a child support order and get paid the money he or she is owed, all because the parent used a poorly written divorce kit. Mistake #5: Going to court unprepared Most divorce kits do not give you any specific information about the court you will be filing your paperwork in, what you need to bring with you, or what you will need to say for your divorce to be finalized. Many divorce kits simply send you the paperwork and send you on your way, completely unprepared.  If you are using a divorce kit to dissolve your marriage, you must be prepared when you go to court. You should know where to go, what building, what courtroom, etc. You should also have a personalized script that tells you exactly what to say when you testify in front of the judge. You should also know what paperwork you will need and how many copies you will need of each set of papers. Many divorce kits lack these basic instructions, so you must be careful to select a divorce kit that will give you all of the information you need. Divorce kits can be a great tool to help you divorce yourself. However, it is important that you select a kit that is accurate and legally sound. Choosing the proper kit is very important. If possible, you should seek one that is prepared by an attorney in your state.

Texas Legal Partner [] completes custom legal documents specific to your individual case. All documents are completed and thoroughly reviewed by a LICENSED TEXAS ATTORNEY, which will give you peace of mind knowing that your documents are accurate and legally sound. Find online forms for agreed divorce, divorce kits, online will & testament, and learn how to change your name legally online with Texas Legal Partner.

Many routine legal matters are easy for you to do yourself, but some attorneys charge large fees for their time. Texas Legal Partner will guide you through the process, ensure all your documents are completed accurately, and let you know where and how to file them in Texas all for one reasonable price.

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