Getting Divorced Without A Lawyer

Pro Se Divorce

Getting divorced without a lawyer

On one end of the divorce spectrum is a basic “do-it-yourself” divorce, also called a “self-represented divorce” or pro se divorce. Getting divorced without a lawyer means that you file and serve a petition and a summons. You and your spouse then fill out all of the disclosures and sworn financial statements. You both do all of the things you need to do to get to the end of the mandatory waiting period. Finally, you show up to court on your appointed day and get your divorce decree.
The divorce decree is the court’s final ruling that makes the termination of a marriage official. Divorce decrees usually address issues such as:

  • Division of property between the parties
  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Child custody, support, and visitation (if applicable)
  • Various financial obligations of each party (for instance, if there is debt to be paid by one or more parties)

Pro se divorce is a good option if you haven’t been married long, if you don’t have kids and a lot of joint assets, and if you both are on reasonably good terms. Although not required, having a mediator can make the pro se divorce process more manageable for both parties.

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