Did you know that in 2014, there were approximately 2 million marriages and 800 000 divorces?
Many people think that getting divorced has to cost them an arm and a leg. Unlike a wedding, a divorce can be quick and cost virtually nothing if the divorce is amicable. If the divorce isn’t amicable, however, and both parties decide to engage lawyers and take their case to court, the legal costs can become very expensive, very fast.
Still, the divorce papers themselves can be easily drafted and signed if both parties are agreeable. Here are a few other lesser-known facts about divorce documents.
1. You Can Obtain Free Divorce Papers
The U.S. has an estimated divorce rate of 1 million people per year. However, many people are ignorant of the fact that free divorce papers can be had if both parties are agreeable to the terms of the divorce. In fact, all states offer online divorce papers for free download.
It should be realized that filling out divorce papers yourself will serve to considerably reduce your legal fee payment – a procedure which, in and of itself, is not very complicated.
2. Get the Proper Divorce Papers
While it’s possible to simply download the printable divorce papers online, it doesn’t mean that all divorce papers you find online are accepted by the courts. You have to download divorce papers from a reputable source, so that you know your forms are legal and acceptable by the courts.
Even when buying divorce papers physically, you still have to be careful about who you buy from because some companies sell outdated papers which may end up being rejected by the court.
3. Divorce Papers Are all the Same Regardless of Reason for Divorce
Regardless of the grounds for divorce, all divorce papers are the same. Divorces such as the no-fault divorce or uncontested divorce – also referred to as “irreconcilable differences” – mean that both the husband and wife have no particular issue about getting divorced and simply choose to move on. No-fault divorce cases are accepted in all 50 states of the U.S.
You can use free divorce papers without needing to engage the services of an attorney.
4. File Your Divorce Papers at the Correct Court
If there are no complications barring your way, and your spouse is agreeable to the divorce, then after you’ve downloaded and signed the divorce papers, you should file them at your local court.
However, before filing for divorce, know that in most states, there are certain minimum requirements to be considered:
- When filing for a divorce, you need to be a resident of the state you’re living in for at least 6 months.
- In most cases, there will be a compulsory waiting period of up to 12 months starting from the time you file for divorce until its approval.
- Make sure your free divorce forms are filed with the correct court.
- The correct courthouse will be located in the county where the husband or wife has completed the minimum residency requirement.
Once you have selected the state of your residence, pertinent documents will have to be downloaded. Internet access to printable divorce forms will save you time, and you won’t have to search for an attorney and arrange an appointment to help you draft the forms. Fill in the forms at your convenience.
Agreeing to all the terms of the no-fault or uncontested divorce may, however, require the consultation of an attorney, particularly if you have financial or legal issues you’re uncertain about. It’s also important to consult a legal counsel about issues pertaining child custody, child maintenance, and spousal support if there is a need for it.
5. You Can Receive Pro-Bono Legal Counsel Regarding Filling Out Divorce Papers
Not everyone is familiar with the law and not everyone is comfortable filling out such important papers by themselves. Thankfully, courts in many states offer self-help services via the internet, as well as in person. If you have any questions about no-fault divorce or filling out divorce papers on your own, certain law firms can give you pro-bono legal help.
Divorce documents are free on the internet. However, be wary of websites trying to charge you for their use. These documents are usually available free in courthouses, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be free online. A website could ask you for payment if you need help in filling a form. Even then, be sure you’re taking the advice of a state bar-certified divorce attorney.
If you’ve made your decision on using free divorce papers, here’s a website where you can download your state’s divorce documents.