How To Get Divorced For Free

How To Get Divorced For Free Ending a marriage is not an easy decision. Making the decision more difficult is the thought of paying several thousand dollars or more to hire someone to handle the divorce for you. Learning how to get divorced for free can help you make a decision, and allow you to move on with your life with as little difficulty as possible.

There are a number of issues to consider in learning how to get divorced for free. This article is not meant to be a complete guide, but it will provide food for thought and point you in the right direction in a number of areas.

Obtain a basic understanding of the divorce laws of your state. There are plenty of resources available that can provide a crash course in the laws of your state. Remember laws of the states vary, so it is important, and easier, to limit your search to your particular state.

Some states may be community property states, in which property of the marriage is automatically considered to be owned by both spouses. In other states, all property may be subject to division by the court, even premarital property, or property purchased in your own name.

If there are children from the marriage, the care, custody and support of the children must be considered. Many courts will not approve a settlement agreement or decree that does not make these provisions.

In terms of child support, every state has laws to calculate support. In some states, the laws are named Governor’s Guidelines, in other states; they may be named Supreme Court Guidelines. Whatever they are named, the guidelines will take into account the income of the parties, the number and ages of the children, who is paying for health insurance, what the tax consequences of custody will be (i.e. which party will be permitted to claim the children for taxes), etc.

Familiarize yourself with the guidelines. Often, they are calculated on a line-by-line basis of a form, much like a tax return. If you calculate them before you file, you will have a more reasonable expectation of what you may receive, or pay, in child support.

You may want to visit the website of the court in which the divorce will be filed. Many will have forms to use for “pro se” litigants. (You will be a pro se litigant if you file on your own). You will get the idea of filing fees and other fees involved. Many will have guidelines for determining division of property, child support and alimony, and may have a checklist for the documents required to be filed.

If the local website is not helpful, review the website of the highest court in your state, (the state Supreme Court in all states except New York, there it is called the Court of Appeals). There may be forms available for download. In addition, there are now many websites on the web, for a small fee or for free, where you can obtain the appropriate forms.

Finally, in considering how to get divorced for free, know your spouse. Anticipate how he or she is going to react to this decision. Will he or she be willing to negotiate in good faith, or is this a situation in which a court order will be necessary? Some spouses may be reasonable in some ways, unreasonable in others. Some may be willing to sign papers, but not willing to show in court. Others may be reasonable in property division issues, but not reasonable in custody or support issues.

Courts favor and encourage settlements, but this is not always possible, depending on the reasonableness of your spouse. Getting a good idea on how your spouse will react will go a long way in directing your actions through the divorce process.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: