When preparing for a divorce, how you handle your divorce paperwork is one of the most important parts of the process.
Once you have come to the conclusion that divorce is the only option, figuring out how to handle divorce paperwork is the next step. Although you can work everything out on your own, be aware that keeping track of what is required and all filing deadlines can be overwhelming. Professional assistance can relieve you of the headaches (at a fraction of the cost an attorney would charge).
The Do-It-Yourself Divorce (AKA ‘pro se divorce’)
The main reason why many people choose that option is of course in order to save money. However, this isn’t a suitable option for everyone. If there are children and/or large assets for involved, it may difficult for both parties to handle their cases fairly. Plus, handling your legal documents requires a lot of prior knowledge, research, and organization. You will first have to file an original petition for divorce with the local court clerk and submit all related divorce paperwork. In this case you will become the petitioner and your spouse will become the respondent.
Checklist of Divorce Paperwork
Regardless of how you choose to go about your divorce, there are some essential pieces of information you must gather together. All legal documents must be presented to your attorney or the local county clerk regardless of what type of divorce you are filing. As soon as possible, start gathering as many legal documents as you can, starting with:
- Personal documents: identification, proof of citizenship, certificate of marriage (current and previous), etc.
- Financial records: proof of income, mortgage, savings, assets, debts, pensions, annuities, etc.
- Business records: Business tax returns, balance sheets and financial statements, etc.
And the list goes on…
The depth and breadth of your legal document collection varies depending on your personal and financial situation. Trust us, once you see the amount of legal documentation your need to gather, you’ll probably realize that you will need help sorting and filing them properly.
There are a few instances in which it can be a feasible to handle your divorce and your divorce paperwork by yourself, but the risk of mistake can be quite high and expensive. Your best option is to entrust a Legal Document Assistant for all your court documents and filing and save yourself some peace of mind. Divorce is an important decision to make and it can be hard to navigate. The help you need is out there and available.
Find your way to an easier divorce with Divorce Help.