If you are thinking about filing for a divorce, but you don’t want the hassle or the expense of an attorney, read this article for tips on how to file for a divorce online and the process of what’s involved.
Filing for a divorce can be very expensive, the average cost of a contested divorce in America can range between $15 000 and $30 000. It needn’t be so expensive, you can save costs by filing for divorce online. Firstly ask yourself how complicated is your divorce. Do you and your spouse agree on all issues concerning custody, alimony, division of your assets and how to cover your debts? If the answer is “yes”, then filing for an online divorce can be quick and easy. If you have an uncontested divorce (which means you are both in agreement on all the above issues) then filing for an online divorce can be for you.
First, you need to understand the laws of the state in which you live. Most states require that you file for a divorce in the state in which you live.
Most states do allow for online divorce, so first, do a little research as to whether or not your state allows for online divorce. It would be a good idea to call your states clerk office to see exactly what they would need from you and whether or not you can use e filing for your divorce.
Like I mentioned earlier an uncontested divorce will be quicker and easier for an online divorce. Online divorce companies can legally prepare your documentation for you, a lot of best sites will still review your paperwork but most online companies do not review your paperwork. It is advised though that if you have a contested divorce, you should rather use an attorney, as your case could go to trial. There are sites you can use which has all the documentation needed to file for a divorce.
These documents would include:
- A Petition for divorce form
- Custody forms
- A Summons
- A financial affidavit
- A notice of hearing, (if you need to go to trial)
- Settlement agreement forms
The specific online divorce company that you choose, can review your documentation and submit your documents electronically for you. If you are allowed to do e-filing in your state, there is usually a small fee which you would have to pay; so just check on the site how much the fees would cost. Your states’ court site would also have the documentation you need, you could also fill out the forms on their site and submit your forms in person at your courthouse. Therefore, you need to decide whether you would use an online company to file for a divorce or go through your states courts website. Once you have decided, fill out the forms and make several copies of your forms.
Secondly, if your divorce is uncontested this will allow the divorce process to be quick, easy and cheaper. So try and resolves your issues with your spouse beforehand, so as to have an uncontested divorce, so that it will be easier to file online. Then once you have done this fill out all the required documentation, and pay any fees that are applicable. Once this is all done, you need to have your spouse served with divorce papers, if necessary. You won’t be able to serve the papers yourself, so you could use a process server, or the documents could be served by someone older than the age of 18.
You would also have to prepare a divorce agreement between you and your spouse. Have it done in writing and you could use an attorney for this part, which might be a better idea, to make sure you are both making the right choices, and that the papers are prepared correctly.
Once this is done, add any extra documentation that would be necessary, such as tax returns, assets, proof of debts as well as your marriage license and so on. The online websites you decide to use will make mention of the supplemental documents you need. Another thing you could do is call your clerk’s office if you have any questions when it comes to filing for a divorce online to make sure you are doing everything correctly.
Once all your forms have been filled out and submitted you would need to stay on top of your divorce case. Some divorce cases could take a while. So make sure you know exactly what is happening with your case. If there are any other forms you need to file or forms that you missed, make sure you and your spouse file the correct documents on time and attend any hearings that need to be attended.
Finally, you will be able to finalize your divorce. Your judge will grant your divorce, for an uncontested divorce, and will most likely set terms, if you had a contested divorce. The full agreement of your divorce will be ordered by your judge as a divorce decree. You will have to make a copy of this divorce decree and the court should give you a certified copy of your divorce decree. Finally, keep your divorce decree in a safe place.
These are just a few points for filing for an online divorce and how the process will work. Therefore, do your research, choose a reputable online company, require all the necessary documentation, fill out the forms and send them via e filing or take them to your local clerk’s office, serve your partner if necessary, pay any fees that need to be paid, attend any hearings that you need to attend and finally make copies of your divorce decree and keep it safe.