divorce360.com provides help, advice and community for people
contemplating, going through or recovering from divorce and the issues around it,
including separation, divorce laws, spousal support and emotional issues.

law  :: settlement
Print
Email

Divorce Law: Settling Divorce Yourself


Divorce Law: Settling Divorce Yourself


Mediation: In an Uncontested Divorce, 3 Tips to a Cheap, Do-it-Yourself Divorce


By NANCY PERRY

    Many people think that a divorce has to be an expensive, knock down, drag out fight where the lawyers get all the money and you and your ex end up broke and mortal enemies. A contested divorce could take years to complete and cost you $50,000 or more, and for what? Rarely do people get their “pound of flesh” from the divorce court. 

Unfortunately, the attorneys are the only ones who really win these fights. Whose kids do you want to put through college, yours or your attorney’s? Once you put it in that perspective, you both ought to be able to sit down and start unraveling the ties of marriage. Granted, this does not work for all couples. There are some cases where one or both parties can’t or won’t resolve the issues amicably because of addiction, mental illness, abuse or just plain blind rage. But here are a few options to consider if you think you can work out an uncontested divorce.


OPTIONS IN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE



1. Settling at the Kitchen Table.
Once you’ve decided to try settling your divorce on your own, what are your options at this point? Many couples are able to sit down together and list their assets, agree on its division as well as agree on the custody and possession of the children. Any agreement you make, I strongly urge you to hire an attorney to review and to draft into a divorce decree. The attorney can advise you as to the legality and potential pitfalls of the agreement.  

2. Try Mediation.
If you find you can’t talk together alone, try seeing your minister, a counselor, a trusted friend or family member or any combination of them. These people may be able to help you resolve your issues by keeping the negotiations civilized and helping you reach an agreement. Mediation is another good option. Look for a non-profit mediation organization in your area. This is a good, inexpensive way to try to resolve your issues by mediating with a trained mediator and without attorneys. The cost to mediate is usually very low because the mediators are volunteers and the organization supports itself through donations. Even if you don’t resolve your issues on the first mediation, try again because it’s a much cheaper alternative to going to trial.  

3. Purchased Forms.           
Be careful of forms you purchase over the internet or through a local office supply or book store. Even though it says it conforms to your state, I rarely see forms that do. Also, there are many aspects to family law that can trip you up if you’re not careful. I don’t recommend these types of forms, especially if you have children. You’ll end up having to later modify the decree later and pay an attorney to clean up the mess you made. It’s better to have an attorney draft the divorce decree and get it right the first time. There are resources to help you agree on the terms of your divorce. With the help of your attorney, you can keep the costs to a minimum.             



Nancy Perry is an attorney in Texas with The Perry Law Firm, L.L.P.  Please visit her Web site at www.TexasLaw4U.com or e-mail her at nancy@texaslaw4u.com.




divorce New this week::

Transition Institute: Telling Your Spouse You want to Split - Mental Health: The Dos, Don'ts of Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

 

Your Kid Wants To Live With Ex - Tips On How To Cope If Your Child Wants To Change Homes

 

Living with a Habitual Liar? - Relationships: Four Ways You Can Tell if Your Spouse is Telling You a Whopper

 

divorce Community::
popular blogs
get/give answers
expert Q&As
Faith Therapy : Does a Separation Work?
My Husband and I Are Having Trouble. Is It a Good Idea for Us to Separate?...read more 

Stress Relief: Tips to Help after Separation
Mental Health: Overwhelmed by Changes in Household Routine. What Should I do?...read more 

About Law: Do Divorce Kits Work?
Legal: What You Should Consider When You Think About Divorcing Using a Kit...read more 


expand information center
divorce360.com's ecards
ADVERTISING PARTNERS

Find divorce professionals in your area

Find lawyers
Find financial professionals
Find coaches
divorce focused content ::
divorce most popular ::
1. Are You Reading Your Spouses Text Messages?
Stop! It May Be Illegal & May Hurt Your Case

2. Eager To Check Those Texts?
Think your Spouse is Cheating? Professionals Can Check Text Messages

3. The Signs Of A Controlling Spouse
If Your Spouse Is Doing This, They Are Controlling

4. 8 Things No One Ever Tells You about Divorce
Number Three May Surprise You

5. They Won't Leave? Now What?
You Want a Divorce, but Your Spouse Won’t Leave. Here’s How to Get 'em out