Last Updated on December 11, 2019
Divorce throughout the states has long been turned into a multibillion-dollar industry that confronts spouses in a courtroom. It must be admitted that it is a real war. A tremendous amount of money is spent annually on the army of lawyers.
Movies and TV shows are made about divorce. Nevertheless, there are always two sides. And along with a tough contested divorce, it is possible to dissolve a marriage amicably, without spending all your savings on it.
Peaceful and straightforward termination is also possible to obtain without the participation of a lawyer.
Pro Se Divorce
Pro Se is a Latin expression meaning “on one’s own behalf.” In legal practice, this implies that the party represents himself without the assistance of a lawyer. It may be a good idea; also, it allows you to save a lot of money on attorney fees.
But even though Pro Se divorce is absolutely legal, it still takes place in the case of a simple separation, in which both the husband and wife are willing to cooperate to achieve a compromise on all the main provisions of their termination.
Divorce without an attorney is inexpensive and conceivable in case if the process is uncontested. It means that spouses can resolve all the controversial issues of their termination outside the walls of the court. The main task of lawyers is to protect the interests of their clients in litigation.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses will not need to participate in legal proceedings. In almost all states, the judge grants a divorce at the first hearing, and the presence of the second spouse in the courtroom is not required.
Due to this, the assistant of lawyers is not needed. Moreover, an uncontested divorce is quick. Depending on the state, it takes from two to six months to be final.
The essence of amicable dissolution is the lack of disputes between spouses in all directions concerning their divorce. Which means that spouses must find a compromise in the following situations:
- Separation of common property, assets, and debts;
- Separation of custody for common minor children, make parenting and visitation plans;
- Financial support for the child.
Although parents cannot establish the amount of support, as it is calculated based on the Child Support Guidelines, nevertheless both spouses must agree that they will support the child until he comes of age. Also, parents must decide who will be responsible for the medical insurance of the kid.
If the husband or wife claims for alimony, the spouses must agree on the amount and duration of the payment.
If there are any other controversial nuances, they must also be resolved.
Another feature to which you should pay attention is the grounds for divorce. If we talk about termination without a lawyer, then the grounds must be no-fault, which means that the spouses have no complaints against each other that divorce was inevitable. In many states under the no-fault reasons assume that marriage is “irretrievably broken,” and there is no hope for reconciliation.
One of the primary documents of the uncontested divorce is the Settlement Agreement, which both spouses must sign. This is a document that contains a description of how the spouses will resolve all their controversial issues.
By and large, the judge provides a final decree based on the provisions specified in the Settlement Agreement. Due to this, the husband and wife will not need to participate in litigation. And of course, spouses can independently make such a contract.
However, if there is a question about alimony or the division of retirement benefits, it is better to consult a lawyer how to prepare the agreement correctly or hire him to do all the paperwork.
If you want to get an uncontested divorce without a lawyer, while there are still some disagreements between you and your spouse, do not despair. You can resolve the remaining disputes with the participation of mediators.
Mediation is one of the services provided to spouses by third-party to help settle all differences and draw up an agreement. And keep in mind that the mediators are not lawyers, so they do not give legal advice. Their main task is to help the couple find a compromise.
A divorce begins when one of the spouses submits all necessary documents to the court. However, papers must first be prepared. A husband or wife can fill out all the divorce forms by themselves.
Where to get all the necessary divorce papers? First, it should be noted that the forms differ depending on the states, as well as the circumstances of the couple. For example, childless spouses do not need to fill out the forms relating to the division of custody.
A package of divorce documents can be obtained from the county clerk or downloaded from the Internet. Besides the clerk can give a brief guide on how to fill out papers.
But also keep in mind that the county clerk does not provide legal advice, so if you have any questions of this nature, he will most likely send you to the county law library.
This is an excellent alternative to lawyers. Online divorce means a web site that will select and fill out all the necessary forms. Preparing documents in this way is a quick and affordable way to get all the required papers.
Online divorce works quite simply. The client creates a user on the site and answers all questions about his marriage, which the system offers. Based on the answers, the system selects all necessary forms, as well as fills them out following the law.
It is also a fast way to obtain documents. A client can receive completed papers in just a few days, while the price of such service is significantly lower than attorney fees.
If you choose a reliable company, your online divorce papers will be approved by the court without any problems. This is much easier than filling out forms yourself since if they contain errors, the court will reject your papers.
Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer
First of all, you need to file a Petition for Dissolution with a court. However, make sure that you comply with your state’s rules of residency. Documents must be filed with “Family Court,” “District Court,” or “Superior Court,” the required court name will be indicated in your petition on the first page.
Perhaps along with the petition you will need to submit additional papers, check it with the county clerk. When your case is registered, you will need to send copies of all the documents that you have filed to your soon-to-be-ex.
On the website of your state, you can find out what method of serving is allowed in your location. After the spouse receives copies, he must sign an acknowledgment of service that he has got all the papers. After that, you will need to sue the remaining documents, including the Settlement Agreement.
Besides, the court will set a date for your hearing. However, in many cases, the presence of two spouses at once is not necessary. Usually, the judge grants a divorce at the first hearing.
Divorce without a lawyer is cheap, and as a result, doesn’t ruin your savings. This is legal and is an excellent opportunity to dissolve the marriage. But unfortunately, it is possible not in all cases.
Divorce without an attorney takes place in cases where the termination is simple, and both spouses have an agreement regarding all the provisions of their dissolution. If you are not confident in your abilities and doubt that you can cope with everything, then it is better to turn to a lawyer for help.