Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things a person can experience in life. Studies have shown that divorce is the second most stressful event one can experience - second only to the death of a spouse.
While going through a divorce, many individuals experience grief-based emotions such as sadness, depression, anger, lethargy, and anxiety. This trauma is amplified when couples choose an adversarial approach to the legal divorce.
However, statistics show that in most cases, couples often mutually agree on the divorce terms. In fact, an estimated 95% of US divorces are uncontested - meaning both parties have been able to come to an agreement about how to divide the property, who will retain custody of the children, and whether spousal support will be provided.
Is Do It Yourself Divorce For You?
An Online Divorce is a Do It Yourself, uncontested, divorce which requires that you and your spouse be able to agree on all of the issues that are relevant to your family including: custody, child support, property division, alimony, visitation, and, in some states, fault divorce.
Courts encourage divorcing couples to settle because of court congestion and the stress and damage to parties and their children. It is completed without using an attorney. Before proceeding ask yourself the following:
Do you feel that you and your spouse can cooperate enough to come to some form of fair agreement regarding the division of all your property and bills?
Are you satisfied that your spouse fully disclosed all his/her assets and income?
Are your assets relatively simple?
If you have children, do you feel certain that you and your spouse can reach a fair and reasonable agreement regarding child custody, visitation, and child support?
Have you both essentially agreed that you both want to end your marriage and go your separate ways peacefully?
Are you able to firmly state your wishes to your spouse and not be intimidated by him or her and has your marriage been totally free of spouse or child abuse? Are you or your spouse NOT in active military service?
Have no previous legal proceedings been instituted for a divorce, legal separation, child custody, or domestic violence between you and your spouse?
If you have been married for over 5 years, are you presently employed or capable of supporting yourself?
Get Legal Help If
Any of the answers to the previous questions are NO. Competent low-cost legal help is often available from your local Legal Aid Society office or from local legal clinics.
Law schools in your area may have programs that can provide free or low-cost help with simple legal matters. State Bar Associations often have low-cost legal referral services. Check the yellow pages.
During the process of attempting to settle your divorce, one of you becomes hostile to the point of being irrational, stop and seek out an attorney or mediator for assistance.
At any time while attempting to do your own divorce, you become overwhelmed by the complications involved or become confused regarding your rights, get legal help.
At any time your spouse filed legal papers for a divorce outside the current settlement discussions or if your spouse retains an attorney, you must get legal help immediately!
What are Do It Yourself Divorce Forms?
Do It Yourself Divorce Forms are the same legal documents as a lawyer uses and files on your behalf at the courthouse. Several sites allow you to download and complete them yourself.
The American Bar Association has cited some consumer concerns about those do-it-all forms -- specifically, the generic divorce forms that don't take into account where you live and don't tell you they're generic, or sites that don't make it possible for you to know the timeliness of their information. Make sure that the forms package you purchase is up to date, includes all the paperwork you need to complete and file for a legal divorce in your state and fits your circumstances.