Once you have determined that your marriage is over and are ready to face a divorce, you will inevitably start to wonder if lawyers and courtrooms and long drawn out proceedings are really necessary. If your divorce is uncontested (meaning, the feelings are mutual, you both want the divorce and no one is claiming “fault” for the divorce) then there is a good change you could have a cheap and simple DIY divorce. Other factors that determine if this is a good choice for you:
- Children, and their ages if any
- Your military or civilian status (you cannot do a DIY divorce if one of you is serving in the military)
- The complexity and number of your assets
Divorce is mostly paperwork, start off on the right foot by researching what paperwork you will need and what the rules and laws on divorce are for your state. Go to the county clerk’s office or to the internet to find the paperwork you need. There are several sources online for divorce paperwork but be sure the paperwork you are down loading is correct for your state.
You will file the petition of divorce on your own behalf and then will have to notify your spouse. Their response will then have to be filed as well. As you can see, there is a whole lot of filing going on during a divorce!
In some states an uncontested divorce will automatically mean a mandatory trial separation period before you can proceed. Make sure you know what you are in for and plan accordingly.
Once you are ready to finalize the divorce you will need to file yet more paperwork and request your court date if necessary. Even if you have to appear in court, you do not need a lawyer to represent you in an uncontested divorce. If, at any time in the process, you are unsure or uncomfortable going it alone, there are several low cost options for you to obtain legal advice. You can utilize a service that has hourly rates or uses paralegals to answer simple questions.
Your final divorce decree will be mailed to you after the divorce is finalized by the court system. Then you will be ready for the very last step, which involves a big glass of wine and a hot soapy bubble bath! Relax, breath, de-stress, and get ready to get on with the rest if your life.