Getting a divorce may be one of the most significant legal steps you may take in your lifetime, and horror stories abound where one partner insists he or she got a raw deal in addition to paying huge legal fees. Still, it is possible for a couple to legally end their marriage in an equitable way and without incurring enormous legal costs.
A number of states actually feature divorce and other legal forms on their own state court websites. In nearly every jurisdiction, courts in the United States will also accept do-it-yourself divorce documents, which you can purchase from online legal forms services. The laws vary from one state to the next, but a truly simple divorce where both parties agree fully to all the terms generally will be acceptable to most judges. This is particularly true if there are no children involved and no property to divide.
With the DIY divorce legal forms, you fill them out and then pay a fee to file them with the appropriate court in your area. It still requires the authority of a judge to legally end a marriage, but aside from relatively minor court costs, this approach is not expensive at all.
It would be wise to check with your state court website to see if there are any restrictions regarding divorce that are specific to your area or your type of case. For example, in some states there is a waiting period before people can marry again, even after a divorce is final. In cases where the couple has children, certain states mandate divorce counseling sessions that often are geared toward the childrens' needs, even if the split is completely amicable and the adults agree on virtually everything. If you fail to comply with state law, it could throw a wrench into your divorce proceedings, so it would be smart to learn what is required and follow the laws of your state to the letter.
Of course, arranging a divorce yourself is based on the assumption that both partners will talk to one another in a rational way, be fair and upfront about any issues that might need further attention and generally act in a civilized and mature fashion.
For some couples, the DIY approach simply will not work because emotions are running so high. There may be ugly disputes over children or property, or perhaps the couple simply never could communicate well together. In those cases, both sides probably need to hire lawyers so each partner has professional representation in court and help getting a resolution to serious disagreements that can have significant long-term repercussions if not handled correctly.
However, for a number of couples, handling a divorce themselves really is something they can do with a minimum of fuss and trouble. If you are really worried about trying to do this on your own, there are online legal forms services that offer preparation services or "peace of mind" reviews where you can pay an additional fee and an attorney will review your paperwork. Overall, if the two of you are sensible and smart about it, using online legal forms services could produce the amicable and civilized divorce you both want at a fraction of the cost of battling it out in court. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.