Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Getting a Divorce without a Lawyer

Some marriages donít last, no matter how hard you try to save it. Whatever may be the case, married people who want to move in their life see divorce as an option. The thought of divorce is then followed by the act of getting it which involves all the legal issues including hiring a lawyer. Although lawyers fight in the best interests of their clients, some couples feel that they can do without them. Some of them opt for getting a divorce without a lawyer for monetary reasons as well.

Filing Divorce without a Lawyer

For getting a divorce without a lawyer, the first thing the couple must do is to get ready to negotiate. Negotiation is the best way to settle all the issues whether the couple is parting amicably or otherwise. Many divorce settlements revolve around 3 main issues i.e. money, property and children (if any). If you can solve these issues out, maybe at certain points, with the help of a mediator (family member or friend), you can both save yourselves a lot of agony, time and money, saved on a divorce lawyer.

In legal terms, divorce without a lawyer is called a Pro Se divorce. However, filing for a divorce without hiring an attorney requires both parties to be completely in agreement with each otherís view. The court does not accept warring parties as in this type neither party can contest for divorce.

Criteria for Getting a Pro Se Divorce

The following are certain criteria that you must meet before filing for Pro Se Divorce:

  • This divorce can be filed only by couples with children who are above the legal age or those who have no children.
  • Both parties should be monetarily independent of each other before filing for divorce.
  • Contesting for alimony, property and assets is not allowed. Parties need to settle all their economic issues before filing.
  • A divorce taken on the grounds of physical and mental abuse by one or both parties cannot come under Pro se divorce.

Procedure of Filing Divorce without a Lawyer

Once all the above criteria have been met, a couple can get divorce papers from the courthouse. All the information must be typed in and must be genuine. You should make 2 copies of them and get it notarized. In Pro se divorce cases, courts usually give a sample of a filled divorce application. The court then serves the papers to your spouse which includes a response form and a waiver to contest the divorce. Upon receiving the papers, the defendant signs the waiver and accepts all the mutually decided terms. If under any condition, the defendant feels to challenge, he/she can fill out the response form and return it to the court house.

The court then gives a hearing date where all the pending issues are discussed and then give its judgment.

Although getting a divorce without a lawyer could seem like a daunting task with all the legalities and paperwork to be finished, itís not that burdensome. You could get help from the court house offices.

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