Whether people knew it was coming or their partners surprised them with divorce papers, ending a marriage is a pretty stressful time. Add the financial concerns of the process, and it can be pretty overwhelming. One of the most troubling aspects of this proceeding is finding out how to pay for it. Individuals do have a lot of options to minimize the costs, especially if they are willing to take on the tasks involved with getting legally separated.
To save time, money, and energy to these proceedings, people, will probably have to do their homework and handle some of the tasks independently. They can weigh the available alternatives against their financial situations, then make the necessary call.
Uncontested divorce: Working with the other party
These cases usually fall into one of the two categories: contested and uncontested. In uncontested separations, both parties have reached an amicable agreement on all of their problems related to the proceeding. In contested separation, the parties involved are not able to agree on some issues that need to be resolved to conclude the proceeding. A lot of states in the country to offer simplified or streamlined procedures for these types of cases. Depending on the person’s area, these cases might be called summary dissolution or simplified divorce.
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If a person and their partner are in basic agreement when it comes to the problems in their case, they might be able to benefit from the state’s uncontested procedures to save time, money, and energy to reach a quicker solution. If the person is not in complete agreement with their partners on issues related to their divorce but thinks they might be able to work things out, they need to consider mediation, which will be discussed later.
Is default divorces an option?
If a person file for dissolution of marriage, and their partner does not attend or respond to a summons for a court proceeding, they can ask the judge for a default dissolution of marriage. It means that the court will award them whatever they requested in their divorce filing without going through a long and dragging court trial. These types of cases are one of the least expensive ways to terminate a legal marriage because only the filing party and the court are involved in the case or process.
DIY divorce filings: A cheap alternative
When the dissolution of marriage is uncontested, and the person is looking to save more time, money, and energy, they might consider preparing and filing the necessary documents independently, without help from a legal counsel. If the person involved is able to do-it-yourself their separation proceedings, their only expenses will be the court costs and fees.
Finding divorce forms
People can usually Do-It-Yourself their dissolution of marriage by getting ahold of their court’s free divorce forms. Checking the local court’s website can provide them with everything they need, like instructions on how to get these documents and how to file them.
Check out https://www.findlaw.com/family/divorce/divorce-forms.html for details about these forms.
If their local court’s site does not have the necessary forms they need, they can visit the main website of all the courts in their state. People can usually find related websites by searching for their state names and courts. They can also visit the hall of justice in person if they cannot find what they are looking for on the Internet. Clerks on these courthouses cannot give people legal advice, but most courthouse employees will help people find the documents they need.
A lot of these courthouses provide free dissolution of marriage packets in person or on the Internet. Others maintain a self-help center where people can pick up the needed form for filing for dissolution of marriage, as well as for instructions on how to file them. In some courthouses, individuals might even be able to meet family law facilitators – court staff members whose job is to help individuals who are representing themselves in these proceedings.
One form that counties or states might not provide settlement agreements – documents where people write out their custody plans if kids are involved, whether the other party will pay for alimony, as well as how they will divide their properties. If the state or county requires individuals to submit settlement agreements for uncontested divorces, people might need to get one through online divorce services.
Once the person involved in the dissolution of marriage completes the paperwork, which will usually take time, they will need to bring copies to the court to start their case. Some courthouses allow individuals to file their papers electronically. Some actually require it (for instance, people need to electronically file their separation forms in a certain state or city they get an exemption for electronic filing).
Most courthouses require individuals to pay filing fees to start processing their dissolution of marriage cases. People need to pay these fees whether they hire an attorney, find the forms on the Internet for free, or pay companies to help them find places where to get divorce forms in Oklahoma or their state. These fees differ by state, and individuals can determine how much they will need to pay by checking their local courthouse’s website or asking their local courthouse clerk.
When the fee for filing a divorce is too high
If individuals cannot afford the fees for filing a divorce, they can ask the clerk at their local courthouse to waive the fees for the request form. On this form, people will explain to the court why they cannot afford the filing fees of their separation petition, as well as other paperwork.
Individuals will need to include personal details like their income, as well as whether the person is receiving help from the state. In some states, when a person gets assistance from the government like medical insurance, disability payments, or food stamps, the judiciary will approve their fee waiver. If they do not receive state assistance but still cannot afford the fees, the judiciary will evaluate their request and usually deny or approve it within days.
Fee waivers usually remain in place until the case is resolved, so if a person has to file for another motion in their case, like requests for temporary orders, they will not need to pay fees to file these motions. These motions are formal requests for judges to order something. But always remember that the waiver will only cover court costs and does not minimize or eliminate lawyer, mediation, or expert fees.