How to Get a Low-Cost Divorce

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Divorce can simply be defined as the act of dissolving or terminating one’s marriage.  It entails the cancellation of every tie that bonded the couples in marriage. This most often requires using a legal platform like the court to dissolve it because in some cases, it may include the sharing of properties between the couples, the custody of the child, child support, alimony, etc. often times, many people tend to confuse divorce with an annulment. The former means dissolving the marriage while the later means a declaration that a marriage is invalid or void.

In some countries around the world, it requires the consent or approval of the court or any other legal organization that dispenses legal processes which may include child custody, the distribution of properties and division of debt, alimony (spousal support or maintenance) and child support.

In this 21st century, the rate of divorce is on the fast rising. It doesn’t matter the number of years the couple stays married. In some rare cases, it can be just the next few minutes after the wedding. But the bitter truth is that no one enters into a marriage and expects it to fail. Most people now embrace splitting up at the slightest provocation. They see it as the only way out of the problem they face in their marriage. It is becoming a way of life of people. They go into marriage for some reason that favors them. Some even see marriage as a contract and at the end of the agreement, they walk away.

The process 

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Getting married can be very expensive but on the other hand, splitting up can also be just as costly as a wedding. Getting a divorce quickly can depend on the couple’s waiting time or the amount of time a particular state has assigned or requires a person filing for a divorce to wait until the court approves. While some states have no waiting period, some have waiting periods from six months up to two years.

Take a look at the multiple ways to get a low-cost divorce.

  • Ask about your options: one of the first important steps to getting a low-cost divorce is filing a petition with the local courthouse around you. The fee for filing a petition varies from one state/country to the other. The cost of filing for divorce in California will definitely be different from that of Mississippi. So in order to go about a simple divorce, you can choose to fill out the petition by yourself. But if after doing that, you are still low on cash, you can ask for options about waiving the fees by adapting the “in forma pauperis” process. Here, you will fill an affidavit stating your financial challenges so the judge-in-charge of your case can waive your filing fee.
  • Try to work with your spouse if need be: Another way of getting a low-cost separation is working with your spouse as much as possible. Avoid turning every issue into a fight and while some fights worth it, some probably are not. Once one party files for it, the other party will file for an answer whether or not they agree with everything. While this may help accelerate the process, it may cost more money and also can spur up another filing fee. The good part of it is that if your spouse is in agreement to the terms, he or she can write an agreement letter without necessarily filling it out in the court making the whole process very easy for the both of you. Filing a joint petition can save you some money. That way, you can pocket the money that was meant for the formal services of divorce papers by a certified mail or a sheriff. Focusing on the negotiation process will also save you both emotional and financial cost.
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  • File a Pro Se divorce: Pro se divorce simply means representing yourself without an attorney, with this method, the only thing you will pay for is the filing fee for the initial petition. By so doing, it will be more affordable and you and your spouse will go your separate ways without taking debts or causing too much harm to your finances. At this point, you might wonder how you’ll do that when you know nothing about legal processes. Don’t forget, there millions of online resources these days that can assist you with filing a pro se divorce. There, you can find explanations of common legal languages as well as a lot of tips, tricks, and forms that will help you through the legal processes.
  • Mediation: another inexpensive option is ditching the court entirely and embracing mediation. This method is better and reduces acrimony, especially when there are children involved. Mediation simply means the negotiation to resolve differences or problems conducted by an impartial party.
  • Be prepared and organized: being able to gather and organize important financial information and other relevant documents without the help of your lawyer or legal team can save time and money
  • Try to figure out what is really important to you: during your process, you have to know what is most important to you after the divorce. It can be the custody of your children, your family home, financial security, etc. when once you are able to determine which is most important; your lawyer will then focus on the cost of the important items first.

Uncontested Divorce

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An uncontested divorce is simply when a married couple agrees to split up. Filing for an uncontested divorce can be very cheap and fast through streamlined court procedures. Although a more complicated process can fall outside this parameter in a particular state, when both parties have been informed and they agree to the big issues in most separations, an easy, non-confrontational agreement can save money and time. Click here to know more about this type of divorce.

Who can apply for it?

Uncontested divorces are generally open to couples who have no disagreements regarding the divorce issues they outlined. Example of these issues can be child support, child custody, spousal support, and property division.

Online Separation

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To file for divorce online, it is pertinent to note that your situation is the type in which using an online form will get you the quick result you need. But how can you decide if the online papers are right for you?

Where to Get Online Documentation

Often, you can get the required paperwork needed from the state websites. Most times it is always free but each state or country has different requirements depending on the reason for the separation. Take for an instance; if your uncontested divorce involves children (minors), there are different forms and applications that are required. There are different websites that prepare online papers some of which are affiliated to the state while others offer all-purpose papers that may possibly not be right for your state. Some of these sites even have the attorney while some are completely doing it yourself sites. You can learn more about the online divorce process here.

No-Fault Divorce

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A no-fault divorce is a simple term is when you are not accusing your spouse of doing anything wrong to end your marriage. It is entirely different from the uncontested one in which your spouse agrees to the petition. In a no-fault divorce, you are literally giving him or her less to contest. He or she cannot argue your stand or the mere fact that you strongly believe that the marriage is over. The only way your spouse can argue or object is the way you’ve asked the court to end the marriage such as how you’ve decided that the property be divided between the both of you. Using another term, the no-fault divorce can otherwise be known as “irreconcilable difference”.  Others can use the phrase “not compatible” or “irretrievable marriage breakdown”. Some states even require that the spouses live apart for a designated period of time on the ground of separation.

In conclusion, divorce is not an easy way out once the process is started but in many cases, it is the only escape from misery, unhappiness and emotional trauma. It needs careful planning and preparedness. If you are low on cash, explore the low-cost processes and go for one. Don’t incur debts upon yourself because it may cost you even more than you owed. If there are children involved, try to focus on doing what is best for them and you will not go wrong. If your children can come through your divorce feeling strong, loved and safe, this alone will reduce both the emotional and financial costs of co-parenting your children effectively without stress.  Although working with your lawyer in incurring more cost, it is very necessary that you communicate with him or her. Endeavor not to call your lawyer until you have multiple issues to talk about. This will help reduce the number of times you call or email your lawyer and make communication more efficient. It also saves time and money.