How To Do Your Own Divorce

How to Do Your Own DivorceWith the economy in the state it is in, many are cutting corners any way they can in order to just stay afloat. Situations that would formerly frighten people or make them uneasy are now being tackled themselves with some degree of fortitude because they cannot afford better. Such situations have spawned their own helpful places to go for answers, so people seeking help may do so with some confidence. While no one in their right mind would operate on themselves, people may tackle legal questions, such as how to do your own divorce, knowing there is help available to them outside a lawyer’s office.


The first thing to be done is research the subject. In some states, for example, there is a waiting period of one year before divorce may be filed. This gives the parties time to work it out, or come to some consensus. Once the year has passed, the decision may be acted upon. In some states, property or monies must be held in escrow until disposition has been decided. So look into the rules of the state of residence for what pertains to your circumstances.


Now that the subject has been researched, gathering the forms comes next. The seeker will need to know some things about the forms.

-The forms are state-specific, meaning not any other state’s divorce forms will do in your state.
-The forms are up-to-date. It would be awful to get into court and be informed not all the forms necessary are present.
-The forms are peculiar to the county or circuit involved. Living in one county and filing in another might not be allowed.

All forms may be found online. Some county court clerks do not have hard copies for the use of the general public, while others have fill-in-the-blanks forms dealing with child custody, divorce and child support. Some county court clerks have packets specific to the seeker’s circumstances.

Simple, uncontested divorces will require less paperwork, since there will be no property, no children and no alimony nor child support with which to contend.


The county circuit court clerk is capable of answering questions, but may not give legal advice. The clerk can inform the applicant if he or she has the proper forms, if he or she needs others peculiar to their circumstances, and if they are properly filled out. The county court clerk can and will walk the seeker through the process and explain what isn’t readily understandable. But for strictly legal questions pertaining to the situation, an attorney will be needed.


Once the forms have been checked for accuracy, it’s time to file. The seeker will go to the county court clerk’s office. There will be a fee to file, which the seeker should have found out, or there will be a price sheet available for many services from that office. If the seeker cannot afford the filing fees, a waiver may be obtained from the county court clerk. Sometimes as little as twenty dollars is all that is asked if the seeker cannot afford the filing fees. When this has been done and paid for, the clerk will set a case number to all the paperwork. After all this, the seeker will receive a Notice of Divorce Hearing, which will bear directions regarding how to complete the divorce.

The papers to be served on the spouse will have been in the how to do your own divorce packet to fill out. Registered mail is the usual method for serving, but if the spouse fails to receive the summons, a sheriff will have to serve the spouse. If the spouse fails to respond to the sheriff, a service by publication will have to be performed. The county court clerk can walk the seeker through this.


The seeker will have been issued a court date. Before appearing at the divorce hearing, it would be a good idea to check with the county court clerk to make sure the final directions have been performed correctly. If so, the judge will ask the seeker some questions, then sign the Final Judgment. Usually twenty four hours later, a True Copy of the completed divorce may be obtained from the county court clerk.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: