Tag: DIY divorce

How do I get a quick, cheap divorce?

    • Easiest way up front, but usually most foolish, most financially and psychologically expensive in the long term: give your spouse whatever he she wants/demands (while it is possible for your spouse to make a proposal for a divorce settlement that is perfectly fair to you both, this rarely happens. I’ve seen it happen, but it’s one of those black swan occurrences).  
      • If you’re willing to do give your spouse whatever he/she wants in divorce, your spouse may (unless he/she has tremendous chutzpah) even do all the work necessary to process the divorce case to completion (at your expense, of course), so that all you need to do is sign a document or two that results in you losing everything to your spouse.  
      • If it weren’t obvious yet, I’ll be more concise: odds are that if agree to whatever your spouse proposes for divorce, your spouse will take extreme advantage of you.  
      • It’s easy to step off a cliff, but the consequences are hard, lasting, and usually irremediable.  
      • If you believe that “being conciliatory” will make the divorce process easier, you are mistaken. That’s “let the leeches bleed in the hope it will persuade them to stop bleeding you” thinking. 
    • Second easiest (and usually still highly foolish and long-term damaging) way: don’t hire—or at least confer with—a lawyer and do it all yourself.  
      • Can you get a divorce without a lawyer? Yes. It’s getting easier every day with all the resources the internet is making available to do it yourselfers.  
      • Does that mean that the DIY divorce is likely to be one of high quality? One that covers all the legal bases? One that does not result in you making boneheaded, irreversible mistakes? No, not likely. Not bloody likely.  
        • If you and your spouse are young, dirt poor, have no assets of high value, have no crushing amounts of debt, have no children, haven’t been married long, and neither of you want alimony, then a DIY divorce may be worth the risk because even if it works against you, you should be able to recover from it without suffering for a lifetime. Otherwise, a purely DIY divorce usually ends badly for one or both spouses.  
      • I know that to a non-lawyer divorce law seems/feels like it should be fairly intuitive and straightforward. Common sensical. It is not. Really, it is not. I know you want to believe that there is no reason why you and your spouse cannot sit down with some pre-printed forms or online program, fill in the blanks, and be done and at peace. Save time. Save money. Avoid conflict. It’s so tempting to believe such a thing. So comforting. But it’s not true. It’s worse that untrue. It leads to wasted time, money, and to more pain.  
        • Lawyers make good money trying (note I wrote “trying,” not “succeeding”) to help people undo the damage their DIY divorces have done. Wouldn’t you rather spend money on a lawyer to prevent trouble, rather than to help (try to help) you clean up your mess? 
      • If you want to go the DIY route, please, please, please include in the process conferring with a good divorce lawyer (a good divorce lawyer, not just any lawyer) before you start and after you fill out the forms BUT BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING. It will be some of the best money you have ever spent.  

Third easiest (and the least popular) way: Hire—or at least confer with—a good divorce lawyer (a good divorce lawyer, not just any lawyer; there are a lot of lousy divorce lawyers out there) to assist you with what you need to ensure the divorce is handled as well as can be. It will cost you money. If you hire an attorney to represent you throughout the process, it will cost you a lot of money. If your spouse is out to ruin you financially and out to ruin your relationship with your children, you will spend—and need to spend—unimaginable amounts of money on your divorce and your divorce lawyer to prevent the outcome from being even worse than they would be in the absence of a good divorce lawyer’s help.  


There are a lot of bad divorce lawyers out there. Beware. But all divorce lawyers are not bad. The good ones (the skilled ones who deliver real value) are hard to find, but can be found, and are worth finding when you have the need.  

Can there be a point at which the value of a lawyer’s help—even when the lawyer is doing his/her best work for you—doesn’t justify the expense? Yes. Of course. Sometimes the judge has it in for you and you can see you’ll never get a fair shake. Sometimes you can see that your spouse is bent on your financial and emotional ruin. There are times when it makes sense to surrender, to give up because spending money and effort and emotional capital on your divorce becomes a matter of diminishing returns. Otherwise, a good lawyer is worth more to you than the costs.  

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

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Which is the best matrimonial site in the USA with a free trial?

There are many websites with lots of free information that is good. The problem is being able to tell the good content from the bad. This is why, whether you intend to hire a lawyer to handle some or all parts of your divorce case, you need to read a lot to get a solid understanding of how divorce works—and not just the general concepts of divorce, but also how divorce works specifically in your jurisdiction (i.e., the state and county and city where you will be filing for divorce). 

As for the best DIY divorce sites, I do not know of any completely free of charge sites, and I do not know which ones, if any, offer a free trial (if they did, most people would use the free trial and never pay). Again, you will want to review many of them to get a feel for what features they offer, how well these sites function, and how much they charge. You’ll want to find the site that caters to your skill level and budget without sacrificing the quality of their forms. 

I worked closely with (but I am not employed, or paid by, or an owner of) the people who created, which I think is one of the best DIY divorce sites for divorce in the U.S.A. (not worldwide) because it was created from the ground up around the non-lawyer DIY divorce site user. It’s designed to make the process of divorce and the choices you and your spouse make along the way understandable and clear. 

Remember: just because you are not a lawyer and just because you prepared your divorce forms yourself does not give you a “do over free” pass if the DIY forms you prepared were prepared incompletely, mistakenly, erroneously, or in any other a way that does not do what you wanted or intended. DIY divorce websites and forms are getting better and easier as technology advances, but they are still not a perfect substitute for a skilled lawyer’s help. So no matter which DIY site and forms you choose to use, BE SURE TO REVIEW THE FINAL PRODUCT WITH A SKILLED, EXPERIENCED LAWYER to ensure your forms are as you want them to be and as they need to be before you sign anything and before your file anything with the court. 

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

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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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Can people with few assets and no children really do their own divorce?


And I’m a man who makes his living as a divorce lawyer.

You would think I’d be one of the last people to tell you that there are many situations where a couple can handle and process their divorce without hiring an attorney. That’s because most divorce lawyers 1) are scared of people not hiring them; and 2) delude themselves into believing they are indispensable to the divorce process.

Truthfully, there are many situations where a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce would be a terrible mistake: lots of money/assets, lots of debts/liabilities, a spouse who wants to deprive you of your custody and care of and relationship with your kids.

But if a couple:

  • has few assets (or assets they don’t mind getting swindled over or walking away from)
  • no children
  • AND no major debts (or debts that one of them can handle if he/she gets stuck with them),
  • does not consist of a spouse who is financially dependent on the other

a DIY divorce is not only doable and inexpensive, but a safe choice.

In Utah where I practice divorce law, the court system offers the free use of an online, step-by-step service that will provide you with rudimentary education about the divorce process and enables you to prepare all of the court documents you need for a DIY divorce. Go to these links to access the website:

Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP)

Utah Courts – Divorce

If you don’t live in Utah, it’s likely your state offers a similar service, either through state government services or, at the very least, through commercial offerings that cost much less than an attorney. Just one thing: buyer beware. Not all DIY divorce sites and forms are created equal. Make sure you get your money’s worth by shopping around and identifying the minimal level of quality and completeness you need.

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

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