One Step Beyond—The Steps to Getting a Divorce With DoNotPay
Divorce can be a daunting prospect, with a potential mountain of paperwork, lawyer’s meetings, and conflict situations to master before you can breathe easily. Like many legal situations, divorce is a process, though. Taking it step-by-step can make it achievable without it being too stressful.
DoNotPay is here to help you understand the steps to getting a divorce and reach a conclusion as quickly and painlessly as possible!
What Is the Process of Getting a Divorce?
Getting a divorce can be as simple or as complicated as you and your spouse want to make it.
If you both want to avoid spending time in court and wasting money on expensive lawyers, it is in your interest to work together towards an uncontested, friendly divorce.
Whatever your situation, the steps for getting a divorce are similar in most states. The process you have to follow is:
- File a petition for divorce
- Serve your spouse with the divorce papers
- Draw up a divorce settlement agreement
File a Petition for Divorce
A petition for divorce—sometimes known as a complaint for divorce—is a request to a court to dissolve your marriage. Your state may provide standardized forms for you to fill out, but your petition will need to include a:
- List of all the stakeholders, including children or dependents
- Request for a divorce to be granted
- Summary of assets, liabilities, income, and expenses
In some jurisdictions, you and your spouse can file a joint petition for divorce, indicating that you are filing for an uncontested divorce. In most states, though, you will need to file separately and serve the papers on your spouse.
Serve Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
In most cases, you will need to serve the divorce papers on your spouse using a sheriff or a professional process server.
Your spouse has to sign an acknowledgment that the papers have been received, and they may be required to file an answer in writing within a specified time. The answer is an indication of whether your spouse agrees with the divorce and can take the form of:
- A rebuttal, in which case the divorce will have to be contested in court
- An acceptance, meaning that your spouse accepts the settlement proposal you have submitted
- No response, leading to a potential default judgment in your favor
The best-case scenario—if you are looking for a low-cost, fast divorce—is if your spouse accedes to the settlement and accepts the divorce.
Draw Up a Divorce Settlement Agreement
The make-or-break document for an easy divorce is the divorce settlement agreement. This is a legal document that sets out how every aspect of your married life should be divided between you and your spouse after your divorce has been granted.
Your settlement agreement should include provisions for:
- Child custody, parenting, and support
- Alimony payments
- Division of assets and liabilities
In some states, you can agree on your settlement before you file your divorce papers and include the agreement in your submission. In others, you can use the mandatory waiting period between filing your papers and receiving a hearing date to finalize the details with your spouse.
In either case, a judge will scrutinize your divorce settlement agreement to make sure it is fair and equitable and that any children are adequately provided for. If the judge decides your agreement is insufficient, your divorce will not be granted, and you may end up in court.
Where Can You Get a Divorce Settlement Agreement Drafted?
Setting up your divorce settlement agreement is the most crucial step in the whole divorce process and is the way to keep you and your spouse out of court.
You can use the following resources to have your settlement agreement prepared:
|Settlement Agreement Resources||Explanation|
|Lawyer||A lawyer is the automatic choice for many divorcing couples but will have a significant impact on the cost of the process.
Uncontested divorces in the U.S. cost over $4,000 per spouse on average—the vast majority of this goes on lawyers’ fees.
If you and your spouse can agree on a settlement, you may not need a lawyer, and no state insists on you using one.
If the outstanding issues are minor ones, you and your spouse can consider engaging a mediator instead of a lawyer to reach a negotiated resolution
|Online||Several websites offer settlement agreement templates for you to fill out yourself. While this is a cheap option, you need to exercise caution—many of the templates are highly generic and do not cover all your needs. Some may even be invalid in your state|
|County court||Your county court might be able to provide templates for you to complete with your spouse. Even though they are guaranteed to be valid in your jurisdiction, many of them are so complicated that you will need a lawyer to decipher them|
DoNotPay has the solution you are looking for. We can that ticks all the boxes with no lawyers’ fees to pay!
DoNotPay Puts You on the Right Path to Divorce
DoNotPay is your partner when it comes to managing the steps to getting a divorce. If you’re looking for a way to keep your costs down, avoid lengthy court cases, and come out unscathed on the other side, we are here to help!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement product is just what you need—a customized agreement that you can get in a flash. Here’s how to set your agreement up:
- Find our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature
- Follow the instructions and fill in the details of your settlement
Once you are done, we will generate your document in a flash—all you need to do is sign it together with your spouse and get it notarized. Not sure where to look for a notary? No problem—we can handle the notarization for you online as well!
DoNotPay Makes Administrative Hurdles a Piece of Cake
If you ever needed to deal with an administrative task, such as drafting a valid legal document or paying property taxes, you know that it’s a struggle. The good news is—it doesn’t have to be!
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