In some situations, it is possible to handle your own divorce. Before attempting to do so, it is important to carefully assess your situation. If you and your spouse are considering a do-it-yourself divorce, here are some steps you need to take.
Assess Your Situation
Not every divorce can be conducted without the assistance of an attorney. If you have children, custodial and support matters can be complicated and it is best to work with a divorce attorney. You should also consider seeking legal help if you and your spouse are unable to reach a consensus regarding the division of assets and debts.
Working through a do-it-yourself divorce can also be challenging if there is anger on either side. You and your spouse do not have to be on the best terms, but you should be able to hold reasonable discussions about the end of the marriage without letting anger interfere.
Create an Agreement
One of the biggest parts of a divorce is deciding how debts and assets are handled. To help speed up the divorce process, you and your spouse need to create a written agreement that you can use to complete your divorce documents.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, consider mediation. During mediation, a skilled professional can sometimes help get you and your spouse towards an agreement. If you still cannot create an arrangement that seems fair to both sides, seek legal help from professionals at Garrett & Silvey Law Firm or a similar law firm.
Contact the County Clerk's Office
Do-it-yourself divorces are handled differently in each county. Some counties require that you obtain the necessary divorce documentation from the office, while others direct you to other places, such as a law library. Before signing up for any document preparation service, you want to be sure that you have the right papers.
Complete the Documentation and File
Once you have obtained the proper divorce papers, you and your spouse need to complete them. It is imperative that both parties read over the papers before they are filed. You want to be sure that both parties are in agreement with what is stated on the documents.
You will need to file the papers with the county clerk's office. The clerk will inform you if there are any additional requirements that need to be met. For instance, some counties have a waiting period that must be honored after the papers are filed.
Even if you worked on your divorce yourself, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney before filing the papers. You want to be sure that the documentation is accurate and fair to both parties.