Litigation is out of fashion
The era of the general obsession with lawsuits is passing into history. More and more Americans prefer to resolve most kinds of civil cases out-of-court. No-fault, uncontested divorce has become particularly popular, and nowadays, about 90% of divorce in the USA are uncontested. The point is that the people want to save their money as well as to deal with the separation procedure as quickly as possible, and an amicable divorce can offer these advantages.
Some go further still and wonder whether it is possible to arrange a divorce not only without a trial but without a lawyer as well. The answer is yes; to get a divorce without a lawyer is legal. Representing yourself before a court is called "pro se legal representation," which is one of the constitutional rights.
Although this decision may be risky, complicated and, sometimes, short-sighted (for instance, when one spouse is a pro se litigant while the other hires a divorce attorney), the number of self-represented litigants in family cases is increasing every year along with the number of no-fault divorces.
A great bulk of no-fault divorces can really be successfully arranged by the spouses themselves if they are ready to cooperate, and also are willing to take responsibility for the filing process.
The people who want to manage their own divorce, however, should know what to expect, what is actually the procedure, and what can help you to make a process more comfortable. The old phrase "well planned is half done" entirely justifies itself in the divorce context.
An uncontested divorce assumes the variety of methods which can help the spouses to arrange a do-it-yourself divorce.
Judicial branches of different US states welcome uncontested divorces and encourage the couples to divorce as amicably as possible. Their official websites usually contain kind of "self-help guides" designed to provide all the necessary information regarding self-representation in divorce following the rules of the particular state. Some states even offer printable divorce forms and free paralegals' support concerning some questions. Nevertheless, this still may not be enough. Every divorce case is unique so that some additional divorce forms may be required, and along with it, filing rules of certain counties of the same state may vary. In general, the information provided by the state is relevant but incomplete.
Therefore, there are various businesses which offer support on different stages of a DIY divorce process. The divorcing spouses may resort to mediation or parenting classes when they face the need to make their settlement agreement or parenting plan or to use electronic filing provider to apply their divorce petition without attending the court.
But the primary phase of each uncontested divorce, regardless of whether the couple has minor children, whether they are going to split their marital property, etc., is filing process. A divorce of any type starts with gathering the necessary papers and creating a petition for divorce. And here online divorce comes into play.
Online divorce as a golden mean. Do it yourself... but with a little help
Let’s observe this rather new but popular way to ease a do-it-yourself divorce a lot in more detail.
Online divorce is an alternative solution for those who intend to arrange a no-fault, uncontested divorce without resorting to the help of an attorney but still does not want to take over all the boring prep work. Online divorce services are designed to cut through red tape and to speed the process of filling out the forms.
Nowadays, there are plenty of platforms providing online divorce drafting services. Some of them work nationwide, while some cover certain states or counties - since these are online services there is not much difference. The operating principle of all these businesses is rather similar and straightforward.
Usually, the customer needs to respond to a list of questions of the online questionnaire. This interview typically calls for the info about the state, county, and family court in which the plaintiff is going to apply for dissolution, and also some data about the case terms. These may include the issues like whether the spouses have underage kids, is any party ask for alimony, or is there any marital property (assets or real estate) the spouses want to divide in a divorce, etc.
As you can see, online divorce services may be used not only by couples who do not have minor children or substantial amounts of property. The primary condition is just the fact that a divorce must be uncontested, meaning that the parties ought to be capable of settling their differences out of court. They may have a lot of disputed issues, but as long as they can come to a common decision independently and amicably, they are eligible for divorce without an attorney and for using of online divorce services as well. All the spouses' joint solutions to the divorce problems concerning child custody and support, alimony or property division should be outlined in a Marital Settlement Agreement (depending on the state, parenting issues may be included to the agreement, or be contained in a Parenting plan).
After registering on the chosen online divorce website and providing the required data, the customer should pay for the service (an average cost is typically between $150 and $300 in the US). On this, the client's work is over. The system automatically gathers all the needed divorce papers and documents, customizing the forms according to the provided personal info of the couple. Local laws and filing rules are taken into account along with the specific conditions of the case. The customer does not need to sort out the divorce forms trying to understand the legal terms and other annoying things. Online divorce company undertakes the whole prep work.
Besides, divorce forms typically can be ready in the shortest terms. Reliable online divorce companies which are known for their excellent reputation appreciate their customers and provide them completed paperwork packages in just a couple of days. So, you really can save a lot of time and effort entrusting the preparation of divorce forms to one of these services. Choosing the online divorce company, you should analyze customer reviews carefully, however. It will help you to avoid so-called fly-by-night companies whose divorce forms may be denied by the court.
Also, you should notice, that online divorce companies are not eligible to provide legal advice, so you should not count on it. You should better solve all the legal questions in advance so that the filing process would be straightforward and quick. In general, online divorce services help couples with more “technical” issues like terms, deadlines or filing rules; their customer support services specialize in just such things. But any person who has ever faced the notorious American bureaucracy can confirm that such a kind of support is already considerable.
To sum it all up, the increasing popularity of online divorce is associated with its affordability, convenient access to the divorce forms, and opportunity to act at your own pace without being dependent on the schedule of the clerk office.
In addition, some people hire rather expensive attorneys for the same purpose of preparation of divorce forms, so the benefit is obvious! Attorneys' flat fees for uncontested cases typically start from about $600. So why to pay more or go through all that trouble trying to manage all the details of the divorce process on your own? A little help would be nice. In the end, you can receive prepared, ready-to-print-and-sign papers without long periods of completion or delivery, and - one more advantage of online divorce - many companies offer a refund if the court does not approve the forms.
A divorce is never an enjoyable event, that's it. But this does not mean you cannot ease the process. Making your divorce less expensive and lengthy, you automatically make it less stressful. Life is not over, and you have a lot of incredible things to do in your future, so just do not be stuck on this phase resorting to litigation and stretching your divorce for long months. Online divorce is a solution!
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