What is the best DIY book about divorce in the U.S.?

There isn’t one. There can’t be. I’ll explain why and what you can and should do if you want to go the DIY divorce by the book route. 

The main reason there is no “best DIY divorce book in the U.S.” is because each state has different divorce laws. While all the states’ divorce laws share many, many similarities, it’s impossible for one book (that one could manageably read and understand) to speak authoritatively about specific divorce law for all states. 

Consequently, most DIY divorce books deal in generalizations, so that they can appeal and apply to a national audience (can’t write a bestseller on “DIY Iowa Divorce”). This is not to say that generalized books on the subject of divorce aren’t worth reading, but they Clearly are not the best way too undertake a DIY divorce (not to put too fine a point on it, but anyone who would try to do his or her divorce by himself/herself by reading one of these generalized books on divorce would be a fool—there is a much better way to go the DIY route). 

That stated, I know there are people out there who have written DIY guidebooks and forms set on divorce for specific states. It wouldn’t hurt to check your local library and bookstores to see if you’re one of the lucky states where someone bothered to write a do-it-yourself book specifically on the divorce laws and procedures for your particular state. Just make sure that such a book is up-to-date. Divorce laws and rules of procedure change frequently. 

It would also be a good idea and worth the effort to see if local attorneys have written a book on DIY divorce for your particular state. These are often offered through the attorney’s website in various forms: e-books, slideshows, “online seminars”, forms set, a link to purchase a hard copy of a self-published paperback, etc. 

Be warned about local attorney-authored DIY divorce books: many lawyers (most, in my opinion) who write so-called “do-it-yourself divorce” books/guides often do so to overwhelm you, intimidate you, psych you out, and persuade you not to do it yourself and instead hire an attorney (specifically the attorney who wrote the book). Make sure the DIY book you get is a truly completed and effective tool. 

BONUS: Even if you believe you have mastered the art of DIY divorce in preparing your own divorce pleadings and other court documents, please Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish: pay a few hundred dollars to meet and talk with an experienced, skilled divorce attorney to review your documents and to ensure they are complete and compliant before you file them with the court. It is well worth the investment. That doesn’t mean you must hire a lawyer throughout the whole process, just pay a lawyer to review your documents to ensure they are up to snuff before you file them. I daresay it’s a crucial part of the DIY process. It could be the difference between success or failure (and in divorce, most of the time you only get one shot to succeed; failure can often be irremediable and permanent). 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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