Divorce (illustration)
Divorce (illustration)iStock

If you are wanting to file for divorce, you might have considered a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) divorce. This differs from the traditional process of marriage dissolution as it means you remove the help of a lawyer.

By removing this, and making use of online tools, you can remove the enormous amount of stress that comes with court visits and save a huge amount of money on divorce attorney fees.

This guide will explain the process of a DIY divorce and help you decide whether it is the right option for you.

What Is A DIY Divorce

A DIY means that a couple who are divorcing sort and file their own paperwork and represent their own case if needed in court.

This means therefore that the divorce must be uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the marriage dissolution and are willing to collaborate to end the marriage - and therefore you can file for divorce in California or any other state.

This requires a strong degree of communication between both spouses on issues such as dividing marital property, child custody and alimony since this would normally be conducted through a divorce lawyer.

It is important to understand that should these discussions break down, you might be forced to seek help from attorneys and take the case to family court.

Simple Steps To Filing Your Own Divorce

1 - Talk Through The Options With Your Partner

You might have already discussed with your spouse that you will be getting a divorce. If you think you will be able to work together, you could suggest a DIY divorce and talk through whether there are any conflict barriers.

2 - Make Sure You Are Eligible With Residency Requirements

There are a number of state-specific residency requirements when filing for divorce, such as how long either partner has been resident in a state. To avoid disappointment or any difficulty in the process, check that you comply before proceeding.

3 - Discuss How You Will Divide Your Marital Property

While you have been married it is likely that you have acquired marital property together. You will need to discuss a settlement agreement that complies with your state’s guidelines. Your rights when splitting your assets will differ between states.

4 - If You Have Children, Decide On Child Custody

Child custody arrangements are a vital part of any divorce and the outcome should always have the children's interests at its forefront. Depending on your situation, child support may be needed.

5 - Fill In The Necessary Divorce Forms

Your state court will be able to provide you with the necessary paperwork to complete your DIY divorce. You could make use of an online platform to help gather your documents to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Once you have agreed on the divorce terms, the paperwork can be filed with your public court

6 - Final Civil Procedures

The divorce papers will need to be served to your spouse. It may then be required to wait through a cooling-off period in your state. You can then finalize your divorce.

How To Make The Process As Smooth As Possible

A DIY divorce will work well if both spouses' documents are organized in one place and convenient to access. This is essential to submit all the necessary divorce forms to the court.

There are complex forms therefore you will be required to work together to complete this paperwork. Court forms can be rejected if they have errors or certain pages are missing.

Online divorce services help make this process easy for you and save you thousands of dollars in lawyer fees.

Note, if you are unable to agree on significant issues, it will not be possible to reach a fair divorce outcome and a DIY divorce might not be your best option.

Consider a DIY divorce to save you money and stress. If you are able to address all the possible problems you could experience an amicable and smooth divorce process, letting you start the next chapter of your life with peace of mind.