Is a Mutual Consent Divorce for Me?
If you have decided to file for mutual consent divorce without the help of a lawyer, there are many important factors to consider.
Mutual consent divorce is a “no fault” for absolute divorce and there are certain requirements and criteria you must meet if you plan to take this huge task on by yourself.
Many people often choose this option because it is a money saver. However, you must also ask yourself whether you have the time and patience to handle everything that is involved in a divorce proceeding.
Determine If You Qualify
Each state has different requirements and you should know if you meet them before attempting to file a mutual consent divorce by yourself. You may be able to file yourself if:
Your spouse is in full agreement to include custody, support, and division of property
You believe the settlement is fair and reasonable
If children are involved, you are comfortable with the arrangement for your children in terms of support and custody (some states do not allow mutual consent divorce if you have minor children)
You are fully informed and satisfied with the information you have in regards to your family’s debts and assets
You have met all of the state’s requirements i.e. minimum residency requirement for you and/or your spouse, pregnancy, among others
You are prepared to pay the document fees and court filing costs
Check the Clerk of County Court
If you meet the eligibility requirements, the first place to begin is by checking with the clerk of county court who will be able to provide you with applicable divorce procedures.
It may be possible to visit their website to obtain an online divorce form or you may want to make a visit in person to get all of your questions answered.
You may also be able to get more information on proceedings by visiting your county’s law library if there is one that is available where you live.
For a mutual consent divorce, there will be plenty of documents that you will have to prepare. Some businesses such as legal document preparers or paralegal services may be available to help you.
Although these businesses are not allowed to give you any legal advice since only a licensed attorney can do that, they can prepare the necessary forms you need and file them with the court.
There are also online document preparation services that can help you with a divorce petition form if you live in an area where it is not convenient to speak with someone in person. These types of web-based services will arrange for a filing on your behalf and they often charge a fee based on how fast you need the documents prepared and filed.
Take Advantage of Free Attorney Consultations
Although you have decided to handle the divorce proceeding by yourself, you do not have to avoid an attorney completely.
Since they often provide free initial consultations and they are aware that some people prefer the DIY divorce method, you may be able to get some good information from them to help you get your case moving in the right direction.
Not only do they provide insight into aspects of the case you may not have considered, but they can get you out of a jam if you run into problems during your divorce proceedings if it becomes too overwhelming to handle it yourself.