Getting a lawyer is one of the common practices when filing for divorce. With the expenses associated with the divorce process, you might be wondering if you can still file for divorce without a lawyer.
As it turns out, the divorce process can be done even without a lawyer meddling with your affairs. A lawyer onboard the divorce process is not required by the law. You can proceed with the divorce by following a do-it-yourself approach.
However, you must have a thorough knowledge of the procedure and dedicate your time going through all the requirements to make the divorce with your partner legal and official. How is this possible? Let’s dive further.
Is Divorce Without a Lawyer Possible?
Filing for a divorce does not necessarily mean you need to get a lawyer. The requirement to have a lawyer happens when there are issues that you need to resolve with your partner. Also, the divorce settlement might need a court appearance. In this case, you will need to have a lawyer.
It is a case-to-case basis to get a lawyer to process the divorce. This is not common knowledge since most partners would get a lawyer right away for the divorce. While a lawyer helps ease up the process of filing for a divorce, their presence is not a must in most divorce filing procedures.
If you do decide to pursue divorce without a lawyer, there are still possible alternatives aside from getting a lawyer. You can follow a do-it-yourself method to filing for a divorce. Take note, though, that this will be a different process altogether. You may need to devote enough time if you plan to file for a divorce without a lawyer. Here are some of the activities and factors to consider in divorce filing without having a lawyer in the picture.
1. Check the State and Local Divorce Policies
Each state or city will have different laws regarding a divorce filing. You may need to check what these policies are, especially when you prefer not to get a lawyer involved. These local regulations impact the process of filing for a divorce. You have to know first what are the policies in your state if you plan to divorce without a lawyer. By knowing the state or local regulations, you can ensure that you’re following the correct procedure and make the divorce legal and valid.
One example is in Florida, where the state implements a no-fault state for divorce. What this means is you can process the divorce without having to specify the fault of your spouse. This makes it easier to file for a divorce. You don’t need to provide proof of your partner’s wrongdoing – like adultery, abandonment, abuse, and other reasons. In this case, you can easily file for a divorce even without a lawyer handling the matter.
2. An Agreement Between Your Partner
What makes proceeding with the divorce smooth is by settling issues with the other spouse. Filing for divorce becomes a lot easier if you already have an agreement with your partner. When you both agree to the various aspects of the divorce, a lawyer isn’t necessary already. You can already make amends and do the divorce filing by simply going to relevant government agencies and processing the required forms.
Having an amicable settlement already cuts down the processes and time required to file for the divorce. When both of you share the same decisions regarding the divorce, such as in properties and child custody, there are no complicated issues that you need to settle down related to the divorce. A lawyer only gets in the picture if these issues hinder the progress of divorce filing.
3. Mediation Proceedings
An alternative to getting a lawyer is a mediation proceeding. The divorce mediation procedure is a voluntary practice that is an alternative to dispute resolution. Usually, this would be the option to settle disputes involving child custody or properties from a separation. Choosing a mediation proceeding means you don’t need to have a lawyer to settle down various issues associated with the divorce.
A neutral mediator will be the one to discuss the divorce between you and your spouse. The mediator can help resolve various issues regarding your separation. While a mediator is not necessarily a lawyer, the third-party individual can gather information, clarify issues, and do negotiations to hopefully arrive at an amicable settlement that you and your partner both agree on. The process of mediation is there to help you and your spouse find a mutual agreement, which settles the separation issue despite filing for divorce without a lawyer.
4. Divorce Filing Without A Lawyer and Court Forms
In the absence of a lawyer, you will be the one to prepare for and file several standard forms. This is required to process the divorce legally in a government office. You will be the one to go to the proper government agency that handles divorce filing. Each form is required to be filled up to make the divorce between you and your spouse legal and valid.
Some of the documents that you will need to process include the summons, which is how you will notify the spouse that you have decided to file for a divorce. Then the divorce petition. It outlines the clauses of the divorce like child custody, alimony, and properties. The final document you need to sign will be the divorce decree. As a final form to fill up, it contains all the necessary information and agreements regarding the divorce. These forms can make your separation via divorce officially recognized by the government.
5. Consider the Assets and Children
Going through a divorce means you will have assets and properties left behind. You have to decide on the property distribution and share of assets that you accumulated during the marriage. There is also the concern with your children – how do you ensure that there’s proper custody and visitation arrangement.
Another would be alimony or child support. Consider how either you or your spouse can continue to support the finances and welfare of your child. Each of these concerns has to be resolved with a mutually acceptable agreement from both partners. Without a lawyer, you will need to settle these issues with your partner – ideally, with a decision that will be favorable for both of you.
6. Connect With Government Offices
Processing a divorce without a lawyer means you will need to go to relevant government agencies that can help you file a divorce legally. You don’t necessarily need to have a lawyer as you can be the one to go to the government office and process the filing of the divorce.
In the United States, this would be through the Global Community Liaison Office. The government division provides resources, information, and officers involved in settling for the divorce between partners. Each state or city will have a different policy on how to process the divorce. Other areas may have a county clerk in charge of the divorce procedure. The county clerk of courts is usually the government office that has jurisdiction over the divorce process.
7. Consult With a Lawyer
While it’s possible to file a divorce without a lawyer, it will serve you best when you have consultations. Discussing the divorce situation with a lawyer helps you understand the process and assist in filing. Even if you don’t necessarily get a lawyer to represent you in the court or establish a client relationship, the lawyer’s advice is still vital for the divorce procedure.
A lawyer is more knowledgeable, especially when it comes to a state-by-state approach to processing the divorce. They can provide essential advice on how you can file for the divorce, even without a lawyer representing you in court. If there are disputes that you and your partner need to settle, the lawyer may also act as a mediator on your behalf or provide consultation on the right action to come up with an agreement. This is how the legal services of a knowledgeable divorce attorney will be beneficial.
A divorce attorney in Brandon that you can consult is Marina Taylor. She is one of Brandon, FL’s trusted lawyers when it comes to family law and divorce settlements. If you’re in Brandon, FL, and searching for a “divorce attorney near me“, Marina Taylor can help answer the various questions you have regarding the divorce filing.
The presence of a lawyer may not be necessary for every divorce. However, consulting with a divorce attorney like Marina Taylor can help make the process smooth and assist you in the various aspects of the divorce.