Personal Services: Divorce
Divorce Filing Is Never Easy But Having The Right Divorce Filing Forms Can Make It Less Difficult
Making the decision to end a marriage is never easy. You’ve invested a portion of your life in a relationship that just doesn’t work anymore. Once you’ve made up your mind that a divorce filing is the best answer for you and your spouse, you’ll need to file the appropriate paperwork in order to get the process started. Because there are many different kinds of divorce filing (no fault, uncontested, divorce with children, without children, etc.) there are a variety of divorce filing forms that can be used depending on the circumstances. Some of the most common forms include:
Petition or Complaint about Divorce
This is the initial form that has to be filled out and filed with the court in order to start the process in your state. After it’s been filed by the court, you will need to have it served on your spouse in some manner so that he or she is aware that you are seeking to end the marriage.
This is a simple form that must be signed by your spouse acknowledging that they received the Petition or Complaint.
Divorce Settlement Agreement
If your divorce filing will be uncontested by your spouse or you both will agree to a no fault divorce, you can prepare a Settlement Agreement that outlines who gets what marital property, including your house, any real estate properties, vehicles and personal possessions.
The final decree will be signed by a judge who has determined that the dissolution of the marriage can proceed. Once this form has been filed with the court, your marriage has ended.
More Complex Divorce Filing Forms Include:
- Response or Answer to Divorce Complaint
- Petition for Full or Partial Custody
- Child Support Agreement or Order
- Visitation Agreement or Order
- Child Custody Agreement or Order
- Spousal Support Agreement or Order
Common Questions About Divorce
Divorce is often a very complicated process, so chances are that you have many questions about filing for divorce, the requirements, cost, and time frame. Here are answers to some of the most common divorce-related questions that we receive at We The People.
Should You Use Online Divorce Forms?
You can download online divorce forms if you choose to file for divorce on your own, but many of these forms are complex and confusing and they vary from state to state. At We The People USA, we can guide you through the complexities of divorce filing forms, ensuring that the process proceeds smoothly. Contact your local office to schedule a no obligation appointment today.
How Do You File for Divorce?
The process of filing for divorce is different depending on where you live because many states have a minimum residency requirement. Since there are different types of divorces (no fault divorce, uncontested divorce, divorce with children, divorce without children, legal separation), you’ll need to decide how to divide up property and assets with your spouse and how to handle child custody if you have kids.
Many people wonder, “Can you get a divorce without a lawyer?” The answer is yes, especially if the divorce is not contested and is pretty straightforward in terms of child custody and asset allocation. A lawyer is not required by law in divorce proceedings and We The People can guide you through the complexities of divorce filing forms, ensuring a smooth process.
Whether you hire a lawyer or not, you’ll still need to complete all the correct forms, file them, have your spouse served with the divorce papers, and receive your final judgement from the relevant court.
Where Do You File for Divorce?
“Where do I file for divorce?” is another common question that people have. It’s important to file your divorce paperwork in the right court since divorce laws are different by state. It is often necessary to live in a state for 90 days, six months, or even a year before spouses can file for divorce there. In some states, it is also required to have lived in a county for at least a few months before you can file for divorce in that county.
If you and your spouse have lived in the same place for several years, the court in which you must file your divorce may be very obvious. However, if you have moved recently, it may be a good idea to ask an experienced professional for advice on where to file. Local family courts or domestic courts typically handle divorce cases, rather than general civil courts or criminal courts.
What Is the Difference between a Divorce and a Legal Separation?
It is important to understand the differences between divorce and legal separations to make the decision that is best for your situation. With a legal separation, you are still married to your spouse but simply living apart. This is a good option if you are considering divorce but not certain that it is the best option. Some people choose the less drastic measure of legal separation for religious reasons, for tax or government benefits, or because they have not yet met the state or county residency requirements.
However, a divorce is a full and final termination of a marriage. This is the option to choose if you are 100 percent certain that you no longer want to be married to your spouse and want to cut ties and go your separate ways forever.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
It’s hard to say how long a couple’s divorce will take because every couple’s financial and personal situation is very different. But statistics show that in recent years, most divorces have been fully resolved between 26 and 33 weeks. When couples use divorce services, such as We The People, to assist with the paperwork, forms, and filings, this average often comes down to more like 20 to 24 weeks.
Factors that affect the length of time for your divorce include whether your state has a waiting period, whether you have satisfied the residency requirements, whether your divorce is uncontested or no-fault, and whether the local family court where you are filing has a large backlog of cases to handle. It is important to note that a long legal separation can impact your eventual divorce.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
This is another common question, along with “What do I need to file for divorce?” Examples of grounds for divorce include adultery, sexual harassment, desertion, and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Physical or mental cruelty are common reasons for divorce, and this can include beating a spouse, threatening a spouse, or harassing a spouse.
Another possible reason for divorce is living apart for a year or longer or intending to live separately even under the same roof. This could include sleeping in separate rooms, ceasing to have a sexual relationship, living separate social lives, and avoiding daily contact. Mental illness can also be used as grounds for a divorce.
What is the Average Cost of a Divorce?
Just like the time frame for a divorce, the cost of a divorce varies from one couple to the next. Even for an uncontested divorce, most attorneys charge at least $1,000 to $2,000 to get started. But uncontested divorces tend to be considerably higher and start at $3,500 to $5,000 in states like New York and California. A prenuptial agreement can provide a helpful setup for division of assets in an uncontested divorce. For contested divorces that take more legal advice, document filings, and court appearances, the starting fee is often several thousand dollars more.
Surveys have found that when it’s all said and done, the average divorce in the U.S. costs between $15,000 and $30,000. Much of this amount is spent on legal fees, which you can avoid a substantial part of if you choose to represent yourself in your divorce case and work with We The People on your divorce paperwork.
How to Start a Divorce?
You can begin the process with divorce online research to learn about the regulations and requirments in your state and county, to avoid common mistakes people make during a divorce. Since this information tends to be confusing and overwhelming, many spouses trust We The People to guide them through the complex forms and process.
The divorce process begins with a divorce petition, which is created by one spouse and served on the other. After service, the other spouse can file a response to the divorce petition, and then both spouses typically disclose information about their income, assets, and other matters to come to and agreement on the terms of the divorce. The divorce will only become final when the appropriate court enters a judgement.
Find Divorce Assistance Today
When you’re ready to move on with your life, We The People USA is here to help. Contact your local office to schedule a no obligation appointment today.