Do It Yourself Divorce: Is It Possible And How To Do It?

With divorce being such a complex process involving many complicated legal issues, it’s difficult to understand how people can get a divorce without an expensive lawyer – but the good news is, it is possible. Whether it’s due to financial constraints or the desire for more privacy and control over the proceedings, on your own, you can navigate through this daunting task if you approach it prepared with proper knowledge of the laws in your state and all associated paperwork.

In this article, we’ll discuss what tactics you need to take ahead of filing and throughout the process to complete a divorce without paying lawyer fees.

Research your state’s divorce laws

For many couples considering divorce, one of their biggest concerns can be the cost of legal representation. Fortunately, it is possible to get a divorce without hiring a lawyer. Before making any decisions, however, it is essential to do your research about divorce laws in your particular state. Every state has its rules and regulations governing divorce proceedings, so looking into these ahead of time can save you from making costly mistakes.

The process may seem daunting at first, but with proper organization and preparation, couples can successfully navigate the necessary paperwork and other requirements to complete the process without having to hire legal representation. A DIY divorce involves researching the divorce laws in your state, familiarizing yourself with the process of filing for a divorce, collecting important documents, and filling out all necessary forms.

Gather all the necessary documents

When it comes to filing for a divorce without an attorney, gathering all necessary documents is the most critical part of the process. It includes financial records such as bank statements, tax returns, and other documentation that can be used to prove each spouse’s income and assets. Additionally, you’ll need copies of any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and any marriage certificates or divorce decrees from any prior marriages.

It would help if you also gathered documents pertaining to children, such as birth and adoption certificates, health records, school records, and medical bills. All of these documents need to be gathered in preparation for filing for a DIY divorce.

Draft a separation agreement

Suppose you and your partner can agree on issues such as child custody, alimony, property division, and other matters without going through the court system. In that case, it’s a good idea to draft a separation agreement. This document is a contract between you and can be used as evidence in court if necessary. Both parties must read the document thoroughly and have it reviewed by a lawyer before signing to ensure that all of their rights are protected.

For a separation agreement to be legally binding in your state, you will likely need to file it with your local county clerk or court. Additionally, most courts will require an in-person hearing to approve the agreement.

Getting a divorce without a lawyer is not easy, but it can be done with careful preparation and research. Taking the time to educate yourself on your state’s laws properly and gathering all necessary documents will help you move through the process as smoothly as possible.

File for divorce

Once your paperwork is in order, it’s time to file for divorce. Depending on the laws in your state, you may be required to submit copies of the documents you have gathered with your filing and a separation agreement if applicable. It’s essential to ensure everything is accurate and complete before submitting the documents to the court.

After filing for divorce, you will need to wait until your hearing date or until a judge approves the agreement you and your partner have reached. Depending on how quickly you can move through the process, this can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Getting divorced without an attorney can be stressful, but with careful planning and research, it is possible to complete the process without hiring legal representation.

Serve your spouse with divorce papers

Once you have filed for divorce, the next step of the process is to serve your spouse with a summons and complaint. This document notifies them of your intention to seek a divorce and gives them a chance to respond. Depending on the laws in your state, there are different ways that you can serve this document. It’s essential to consult with a lawyer before attempting to serve your spouse to make sure that you are following all applicable laws.

Once the summons and complaint have been served, it’s essential to follow up periodically to ensure they have been adequately served. If your spouse refuses to accept or acknowledge the service, you may need assistance from a lawyer to help you take the following steps.