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By the time you or your partner has come to the difficult decision to divorce, the last thing you want to think about is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Learn more about what to expect and what can help you can gain control and begin moving on.
There are two types of divorce in the US: contested and uncontested.
When filing for a divorce, first assess your personal situation to determine whether you and your spouse can come to an agreement on how you’d like the process to unfold.
No matter what type of divorce you pursue, the emotional effects of a marital breakup can be severe. Sorting your affairs and merely adjusting to your new reality can be exhausting and daunting, so set aside time for self-care and reflection when you can.
Your divorce is uncontested if you and your spouse agree on the full terms of your divorce. For most uncontested divorces, you will not have to appear in court. Instead, you can draft an agreement, complete the appropriate forms, and then send those forms to the court.
You do not need an attorney for an uncontested divorce. As long as you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all matters related to your divorce, it’s considered a more straightforward dissolution of marriage.
Because every state is different, confirm with your state its procedures for pursuing an uncontested divorce — you may even be able to get an online divorce.
An online divorce service offers a fast option for marital separation if the divorce is uncontested and the couple can agree on the terms of the divorce. You can find an in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of each of these platforms with our guide to the best online divorce services.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on the full terms of your divorce, your divorce is considered contested. This type of divorce is more complicated, requiring numerous steps — serving the divorce petition, attorney negotiations and more — before your divorce is considered finalized.
You may need to hire a divorce lawyer if you can’t agree on property or custody. However, even with a lawyer, you may be able to work out your divorce settlement out of court. A major drawback to lawyers is that they’re expensive — expect to pay at least $15,000, with higher costs if you can’t avoid court or have especially complicated circumstances.
Signing up for an attorney payment plan or taking out a personal loan are two ways to help pay for the high costs of divorce.
Every divorce is going to have different issues arise, so you can’t really know exactly how much a divorce will cost until it’s happening. Here are some of the most common costs:
Although both you and your spouse will suffer some emotional and financial stress in the face of a divorce, it’s often children who are most affected. If you have children, make sure their needs are met as you and your spouse work out the details of your divorce.
If possible, keep your kids on a regular routine to ensure they can be successful in school, socialize with peers and participate in the activities they enjoy. By striving to keep your home as warm and routine as possible, you can minimize the confusion children will inevitably feel with such a life change.
In some states, parents are required to attend co-parenting classes as part of the divorce process. These classes are intended to help parents learn how to cooperate in their separate lives for the overall well-being of their kids, maintaining stability within the family even as the parents live apart. These classes can help you focus on a loving way to lead your children through this big change.
Get guidance from a professional service to help manage your divorce.
The decision to end a marriage can be fraught with worry and confusion of the unknown. It can take a lot of time and you may not know where to start. But by thinking about your situation clearly and taking conscious actions throughout the process, you can come through it with your finances unscathed.
A state-recognized marital status similar to divorce — but you can’t remarry.
One of the cheapest DIY divorce services — but customer support is currently limited to email.
This highly rated DIY divorce service prepares your legal docs for you — but a lawyer won’t review them.
It’s possible to consciously uncouple for less than $600 — or even for free.
ItsOverEasy.com has one of the most user-friendly online divorce websites. But some add-on services aren’t available in select counties. Should you use it to get divorced online?
Find a do-it-yourself divorce preparation platform that fits your situation — without hiring a lawyer.
OnlineDivorce.com gathers all the legal forms you’ll need to file for divorce. The service claims to have helped over 500,000 people get divorced online.
A flat fee provides the necessary forms and resources to file in your state. But there’s no legal advice and you’re on your own for filing and court fees.
Filing for divorce is a legal process that needs to be done correctly, otherwise, your case may be delayed or dismissed. Here’s the step-by-step breakdown.
It is possible to speed up your divorce. Here are the steps to get a quick divorce and a few things to watch out for that may slow the process down.
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