Getting a divorce without a lawyer is called a Do It Yourself Divorce or a DIY Divorce. It can be one of the least stressful ways to get a divorce as long as you have the factors in place to make such a divorce decree successful.
Before you consider getting a DIY Divorce, you need to determine if your circumstances are good for such a divorce. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you and your soon to be ex-spouse in unison with the details of your marriage? For example, are you in agreement on who gets custody of the kids, who gets what property, and what the child support and alimony payments should be? One of the main reasons a couple hires an attorney for divorce proceedings is to fight through all these issues. However, if you’re in agreement with them, you can deal with these matters on your own.
2. Are you on the corresponding side of the debt you have accrued as well as your assets? These should all be clear and how they should be divided should be in agreement.
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you may not be a good candidate for a DIY Divorce. Although doing a DIY Divorce saves money, it is not appropriate if you and your spouse have many issues you can’t agree on or if you are not on the same page.
When you feel comfortable with these preliminary questions, you will need to research your state’s laws. The rules for a divorce in one state may be different than the rules for a divorce in another state. For you to accomplish a DIY Divorce, you must understand your state’s rules. You will also need to make sure you make the time to gather whatever documents needed. A divorce can be DIY, but you must make the time to gather all pertinent documents.
Even though you want to accomplish a DIY Divorce, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hire one or two professionals to help you along the way. For example, you may need to seek the help of a professional counselor to help you with the emotions you’re dealing with during the divorce. Or, you may need to hire a tax attorney to help you resolve any tax issues that may come up.
Where can you file a DIY Divorce? Your county clerk’s office should have the necessary information and paperwork you need to accomplish this kind of divorce. Although, keep in mind that nobody at the clerk’s office is allowed to give you legal advice.
There are also stores on the web that can guide you in filing a DIY Divorce, but make sure such a site is legitimate. The fee for accomplishing a DIY Divorce will vary according to the state.
Although everyone wants to save money, keep in mind that obtaining a divorce, with all of your rights protected, is important. Hire a divorce attorney if getting a DIY Divorce is too risky for your situation.