Going through a divorce is never an easy process. With the hard economic times, many people are either putting off divorce or looking for ways to do their own divorce without the help of a lawyer. If this is the case for you, then understanding how to do your own divorce, in whole or in part, could potentially save you thousands of dollars - but is it the right path for you?
If you are trying to do your divorce on a budget, but unsure of where to start, an attorney might be able to help you. Attorneys can be great resources for learning your legal rights and how to best enforce these rights. The only way to know how much an attorney is going to cost is to ask him or her.
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If you are attempting to do your own divorce, you have to be careful.
One challenge may be finding the proper documents needed to file divorce in your proper jurisdiction.
While some websites offer "ready-to-file" forms, make sure that the forms are correct and up-to-date. If you go this route, you need to make sure that you are ordering the right papers - which seems obvious. But what might not be so obvious is that within each state, there are typically districts which have different filing requirements.
This means that if you get the papers that are right for your state, they might not be the right ones for the court where you must file them. This is something that you'd rather know before filling out the numerous pages of paper work required.
Also, these documents have to be up-to-date for them to be any good to you. Often, these documents are updated periodically, and if you get some paperwork from a few years ago, you might not be able to file either.
If you decide to go the pro se route in your divorce, it is important to be meticulous and organized.
Divorce can be rather complicated in some instances, and making sure that you have all the paper work and hit all the deadlines is crucial. In many cases, only an attorney can provide the guidance to protect your interests.
Even beyond the court's requirements for filing divorce, you need to keep track of receipts and pay stubs of yourself and your spouse. Also, you need to make sure that you have a firm grasp on where your finances are and how much is out there. These numbers will be important in determining who gets what at the end of the divorce.
If you find yourself with questions about your case, a good option is to call the court clerk. The clerks are often times very knowledgeable and can have valuable insight into the specific laws in your jurisdiction. For many people, they are invaluable assets in pro se litigation.
A divorce attorney may also be a valuable resource, especially if your spouse starts taking aggressive action leading up to the divorce. An attorney can help you determine what is most important as you go through your divorce, and fight for that.