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The Three Ways to Divorce

Filing for a divorce is the beginning of a major change in one’s life. There are two components of the divorce process that are sometimes hard to keep separated. The emotional divorce, which might already have happened between the divorcing couple, and the official divorce proceedings, which is usually a ongoing. In the official divorce proceeding almost every aspect of the marriage and material goods is negotiated and divided in a way that either the couple sees fit, or the courts deem fair.

However, it is often the case that many couples, clinging to the intense emotional side of divorce, cannot come to a reasonable decision regarding spousal or child support, as well as the division of marital assets. Even with the help of mediation, the intensely personal situation can create a standoff between spouses. The standoff often then leads to the costly arbitration and litigation process. Let’s take a look at the 3 ways the standoff between divorcing spouses can be worked though.


Negotiations are the first step in the process of reaching an agreement between spouses on all the assets, custody, and potential support agreements. Think of the negotiations as taking your wish list regarding how you divide your assets and what your parenting responsibilities should be, and use that wishlist as your starting point. “It’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer finding a compromise”– all with the goal of reaching an acceptable middle ground. Try to avoid the “it’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer trying to get as much as possible,” because then you both will be are stuck in a stubborn, petty stalemate.

The purpose of negotiation is using it to avoid trial. When people file for divorce there’s an expectation that there will be some maneuvering and bargaining and, eventually, a settlement rather than full blown court trial. The typical pattern is to use the threat of trial to get people to bargain and stay out of court.


Arbitration is, in a way, similar to litigation, but it is outside of a courtroom. It is a private process. The divorcing spouses, together with their lawyers, pick a third party decision maker, who is usually a retired judge or senior lawyer with family law experience.

What happens in arbitration is the decision being debated between the couple is imposed by the arbitrator. Unlike mediation, no one helps the couple come to an agreement; the decision is made for them. And, usually, if you don’t like the decision it can’t be appealed, which means you can’t argue it out again for the decision maker to change his or her mind.


Litigation is usually the option of last resort. Going to court can be emotionally difficult and very expensive. The lawyers try to poke holes in your persona, showing that you are unfit. That’s why it is called the adversarial process. There is one winner, and one loser. It’s not a win – win situation. It’s a war and there are distinct sides.

Like arbitration, the decision is made by a third party. Unlike arbitration, you can’t pick your decision maker and the judge doesn’t always have family law experience. Another difference is that arbitration is private, and litigation is public. Being public means that there is a public, court record of the dispute.

Avoiding arbitration and litigation is the goal of most divorcing couples. Having to go through a long, dragged out process that ultimately may take the decision-making power out of your hands on very personal matters is simply unacceptable for most people. Today with the option of an online, do it yourself divorce, couples who make an agreement on the major issues of their dissolution can save tremendous amounts of time and money by doing it themselves. At we provide those couples who qualify for an online divorce with accurate and 100% legal divorce papers. Visit our site today and take the first step towards the next phase of your life.

Social Security & Alimony


It isn’t typical for an alimony case to be associated with the U.S Supreme Court, however, in one case from the state of Oregon this is exactly what happened. The dispute between spouses over alimony from Linn County, Oregon in 2009 finally came to a conclusion after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case entirely.

The case involved a spouse who was disputing the fact that he had to pay alimony of any kind, even though he was ordered to do so under the divorce statutes of the state of Oregon. The husband decreed that he couldn’t pay alimony as his only means of income came from Social Security benefits.

Many things can complicate the finalization of any divorce, especially in the areas of child support or spousal support. Even if the spouses generally agree on issues of property division, child support, or spousal support, the process is no easy task.  More often, there is some disagreement over issues, such as one spouse’s obligation to pay or how the division of marital debt should be accomplished.

In this particular case, both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear the case, which involved the husband’s obligation to pay alimony. The husband, whose only income is provided by disability benefits from the Social Security and Veterans Administrations, argued his VA disability benefits cannot be used to determine spousal support obligations because such payments are solely intended for the welfare of the veteran. He was technically true in his argument, but the family law court trumped this rule in favor of the wife in question.


The husband was ordered to pay $1,000 per month in alimony to his ex-wife based on the combined total of his SSDI and VA benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (FSPA) specifically states benefits for veterans are subject to divorce judgments; meaning whatever ruling the divorce court made would overrule all previous rulings or acts put into place. This federal law was passed in response to a Supreme Court holding in 1981 that protected military retirement funds from spousal support awards.

None of the appellate courts apparently found legal merit in the husband’s argument that the FSPA was not intended to be applied to disability benefits for veterans’ spouses.

Fighting his way all the way past multiple failed attempts, the husband finally took  his case to the U.S. Supreme court, where the case was thrown out. The husband was ordered to pay his alimony and in turn lost money through legal fees and court fees in order to have his case turned away again.

Being Amicable Pays Dividends
Resolving financial matters is a vital part of the divorce process, as both spouses have a vital interest in securing an independent future and maintaining their lifestyles to the best extent possible. This being said, however, fighting as far as the U.S Supreme Court, after failed attempts in smaller court, is just a waste of time. Laws are set in place to look out for the best interest of children and to financially support spouses after the dissolution is finalized. Moral of the story: Being amicable, making a plan, and agreeing, always works best.

Uncommon Factors in Doomed Marraiges

The world is full of contradictions and the human race is directly responsible for many of those confusing aspects in life, which may lead you to even more confusion. When it comes to marriage, divorce, and society, everyone has an opinion and no one will ever admit they really cannot predict what is going to happen in any marriage, ever. Of course one can play the statistics, and almost any sort of data chart could be made up to prove or disapprove the fact that one marriage will make it and another will end in divorce. With that being said, here are some studies done on some uncommon factors that can play a part in whether a marriage will be successful or end with divorce papers.

Simply Red

According to a study done by theNational Vital Statistics Report, married couples who live in a red state are 27% more likely to divorce than married couples who live in a blue state. Not really something many people are conscious of when settling down, but there are legitimate reasons why this could be very likely. The average age when people marry tends to younger in red states, the younger the age of a couple at the time of marriage, the riskier it is that the marriage will succeed.

Where There’s Smoke…

According to a study done by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, if only one partner in a marriage is a smoker, the couple is 75 percent to 91 percent more likely to divorce than smokers who are married to fellow smokers. So much for putting differences aside. Although it has been proven that couples with similar values, view points, and social tendencies are more often to not only end up together but stay together. From age to preference in music genre, the little things count, and for some people, smoking is no little thing.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a… Oh Wait

From the same report by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research comes a statistic that speaks more to male insecurity than anything else. According to the study, if you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older. Come guys, act your age; or maybe act even three years older than your age, if it can save your marriage. No surprise here either, many men are easily emasculated. Don’t fret women, if love, care, respect, and friendship can’t transcend 3 years of age difference, chances are you should get out anyway.

Divorce comes in many shapes and sizes these days; both with outlandish and crazy stories of how horrible people can be to each other, as well as the changing climate of the divorce process. If you find yourself cascading towards divorce, remember: You don’t have to drag out the whole ordeal with lawyers, courts, tears, and stress. An online divorce can be painless and much cheaper. To learn more about online divorce, visit

Texas Courts Allow Divorce Without Lawyers

In today’s economy, budgets are often a necessity. Even marriages with two working spouses have trouble keeping up with all the bills and living comfortably. Yet when divorce enters the picture, it can quickly become a very expensive ordeal. However, Texas lawmakers voted on a motion to help low-income families, and those filing for an easy, uncontested divorce to use forms that will allow them to move through the process without hiring an attorney.

Legal Aid

Recently reported from Texas, six of the nine Supreme Court justices have voted to approve the use of forms allowing  couples to file for divorce in Texas without hiring an attorney. After months of back and forth battling it was finally put to a vote, much to the ire of the group of family lawyers who vehemently opposed the motion.

The reason given by the lawyers was that these legal forms could lead to confusion and many legal complications if/when mistakes are made in the filing process. However, it has been reported that pro bono and legal aid attorneys can only reach about 20% of the divorce service demand last year.

In its Infancy

Back in 2011 a group of lawmakers, including lawyers, judges, and other experts, and the Texas Access to Justice Commission came together to help create the newly approved forms. The opponents of these forms, who are mostly made up of practicing attorneys, have stated that citizens will be unable to navigate the legal system without the help of an attorney. However, as you can see by the website, and the recent rise in online divorce forms, that is just flat out untrue.

What’s in a Form?

The forms may only be used by couples without children or real estate who are seeking a divorce without the aid and expenses of an attorney. The forms are said to be simple and straight forward to help make the judicial part of the process more efficient going forward. The forms are available now, but as a result of a public comment period that will last until February they may undergo some changes.

An even better route for couples both with or without children in preparing Texas divorce forms is filing for an online divorce. At we have already helped served many citizens in Texas with a logical and 100% legal way to help file for an uncontested divorce; helping save time, money, and stress for those couples who know they want to move forward but are dreading the process. To find out more about online divorce forms and how to file for an online divorce in Texas, visit today.

Divorced Women Lose Health Insurance

Each year, thousands of couples file and go through the divorce process. While divorce has become notorious for bringing about long heated battles between husband and wife, there are other repercussions that can be more damaging than losing marital property. Health insurance is already a frequently debated topic in our nation with President Obama’s health care plan to bring about a new era in health care coverage. However, a recent study has shown that divorce of all things can affect a woman’s ability to retain their health care coverage. Let’s take a look.

Study Released

A study released by the University of Michigan and supported by the University of Michigan’s national Poverty Center shows a reoccurring problem for women after divorce. The study was analyzed and focused on nationally representative data ranging from 1996 to 2007. It had a range of ages in women from 26 to 64. The results of the study showed that 65,000 divorced women will lose all of their health insurance coverage in the months following a divorce. The reasons stated was that they no longer would qualify as dependents under their husband’s policies, and many reported being unable to afford the premiums that go with having private insurance. In spite of the financial hardships that can be a result of a divorce, many of these women do not qualify for Medicaid and other various public insurance options.

Reasons for the Repercussions

Women with employer-based jobs were said to have less trouble in losing their coverage. It was reported that women in moderate-income families face the greatest loss of insurance coverage. They are seemingly caught in the middle, while higher income women can afford private premiums and lower-income families qualify for public aid of certain kinds. Women and families in the middle can do neither.

It remains to be seen what the Affordable Care Act can do to potentially change this situation, or if it is something that will need to be readdressed separately as part of an overarching plan to get people insurance who were covered under their ex-husbands or even ex-wife’s plans. However, there are provisions that will potentially address this situation that may be of substantial help to those in need.

While divorce can be a socially and financially taxing time it doesn’t always have to be. At, we have all the information needed to learn about divorce laws and the divorce process. Pursuing an uncontested online divorce can be a way to save both time and money when entering into the divorce process. Visit to learn how you can pursue a cheap, online divorce today.

The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce

Legal separation and divorce, contrary to some thinking, are considered two separate things. However, many of the stipulations in legal separations, as well as the rights that one person has when entering legal separation, are comparable and similar to that of a divorce. Legal separation allows couples who may consider their marriage to be “failing” make a temporary arrangement of separation, while it is understood they will  continue to work out their problems, as they still remain legally married. Reconciliation is the goal in legal separation and can be issued, like divorce, through a court order.


In a sense, legal separation is a form of temporary divorce. While the word divorce implies a permanent separation, legal separation is meant to be temporary and does not automatically lead to divorce. Couples can reconcile, but if they wish to move on and get a divorce, they will have to go through the divorce process dictated by where they live.

The legal separation process and relief offered, however, is very similar to divorce; in some situations in can mirror the process of divorce. For example, a court can grant legal separations due to “irreconcilable differences leading to the breakdown of the marriage.”

Legal separation also can allow both parties to set provisions and guidelines concerning the following areas:

  1. Child Support
  2. Child Custody
  3. Visitation
  4. Division of Marital Property
  5. Spousal Support
  6. The Marital Home
  7. Health Insurance Benefits
  8. Life Insurance

The Difference

The lines can often be blurred when it comes to individual differences between legal separation and divorce. As stated, it’s more of an overarching difference meant to give marriages a chance to take a break in an attempt to solve their issues and move forward, rather than just having a black and white decision of marriage or divorce.  Some of the differences specified between legal separation and divorce will vary due to the state’s laws and jurisdiction when handling these kinds of cases.

Although MyDivorceDocuments does not provide legal separation papers, those who have tried legal separation and decided to move forward with a divorce can benefit from an inexpensive online divorce. Online divorce is meant to help couples who amicably understand their marriage is over and can agree to certain grounds to pursue an uncontested, no-fault divorce. To learn more about an online divorce or to get started on the divorce forms, visit today.

How to Serve Divorce Papers

document serverThe whole divorce process is kind of a headache, but hopefully we can alleviate some of the pain by providing you with helpful information. Today, we are going to delve into the mysterious business of serving divorce papers and how it works.

Can I Serve My Spouse?

Most people think they can serve their spouse with divorce papers by simply handing them over. However, there are legal guidelines that must be observed when serving legal documents to proceed with the divorce. Because you are an “interested party” (meaning you are directly involved in the case), you cannot be involved in serving the divorce papers.

Luckily, there are a few other ways to serve the divorce papers without having to pay someone to do so, or by paying a minimal cost.

Served By Mail

One of the most common ways to service your spouse is by mail, which usually doesn’t cost more than a few dollars. Service by mail is very simple, but to do this you have to include an affidavit of service in the divorce papers. The affidavit is named different things, and sometimes is included in various forms within the divorce forms. The served spouse must sign the affidavit of service, which verifies the spouse was served with the papers by mail.

Mail the divorce papers via first-class U.S. mail with a return receipt. If you ask the post office for a return receipt they will put a slip on the envelope, which must be signed by the recipient upon delivery. Then, the signed receipt of delivery is sent to your address for you records. Keep the return receipt for your paperwork as proof that your spouse received and was essentially served with the divorce papers.

Served By Third Party

Another common, yet free way to service your spouse is by a third party. A third party is basically anyone other than you, your spouse, and any child or person not immediately involved in the divorce proceedings. A third party can be a friend, relative, or neighbor.

The third party must, however, be over 18 years old and must sign the affidavit of service document as well. In some states it is required by law that the third party sign the affidavit in front of a notary public. This option only requires payment for the notary public, which varies from each notary.

Served By Official Service Officer

If neither of these options is agreeable with you, it is possible to hire a service officer to serve your spouse with the papers. A sheriff can be contracted to deliver the divorce papers to your spouse, or you can hire a professional process server.

The official server will know exactly how to complete the little paperwork required from them, like signing the affidavit of service. This option is pricier than the other two, but it is recommended in contested divorce cases where the spouse is trying to delay the divorce by avoiding being served with the divorce papers. A process server can cost anywhere from $30 to $100.

Can I Serve My Spouse With an Online Divorce Company?

With the online divorce forms service, you are able to decide how to serve your spouse, and are provided with all the necessary paperwork to legally prove your spouse was served. However, you must provide your spouse with the divorce papers, either by mail, third party, or process server. | Uncontested Divorce Questions Answered

uncontested divorce questionsContrary to popular belief, not every divorce has to be a drawn-out court affair with dramatic statements and ruthless negotiations. In fact, there are many ways to go about getting a divorce nowadays, and only a few of them involve nasty courtroom brawls. One of the easiest, pain-free ways to get a divorce is by getting an uncontested divorce.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce does not involve lawyers, court battles, or rulings handed down by judges. Instead, an uncontested divorce involves the divorcing spouses sitting down and deciding for themselves how to divide their marital estate.

This is how it works: The spouses going through an uncontested divorce must either agree or be able to agree on how to resolve the issues brought up in the marital settlement agreement.

Points in the marital settlement agreement in need of resolution include:

  • division of assets (like checking and saving accounts, and profits from a shared business)

  • personal property (like home furnishings, electronics, and cars)

  • real property (like houses, condos, and apartments)

  • debts (credit card debt, mortgages, etc.)

  • whether or not to award spousal support, and how much to award

  • child issues (like child support, child custody, visitation schedules, and more)

How much does an uncontested divorce cost?

The cost of an uncontested divorce is quite minimal, since the divorcee doesn’t have to pay for a lawyer. In an uncontested divorce, you must only pay the filing fee (which varies from state to state).

However, the cost of an uncontested divorce can vary based on how you go about pursuing the divorce. These are your choices:

  • Fill out the forms yourself: The upside to filling out the divorce forms yourself is there is no additional cost. But the downside is that the slightest mistake or inconsistency in your paperwork can lead to your divorce forms being rejected, which would delay the divorce process.

  • Hire a lawyer: Some divorcees choose to hire a lawyer to fill out the divorce papers for them, which drives up the cost of an uncontested divorce quickly. True, the divorce papers will be completed correctly, but the cost is usually not worth the minimal labor.

  • Use a divorce forms service: A divorce forms service is not a legal advisory center or other type of legal aide; it is a company that specializes in completing divorce forms. These companies are usually a good option because the services do not cost as much as a lawyer, and the forms are completed by professionals.

However, be wary of false divorce forms services. Scammy divorce forms service companies usually do not have a method of contact on their website (like a phone number, address, or live customer support module). Before making payments to an online divorce forms service, make sure the website has a method of securing your payment.

Can we get an uncontested divorce if we don’t get along?

You and your spouse may not be the best of friends during your divorce, and that’s okay, even in an uncontested divorce. The divorcing couple may not stand the sight of each other, but as long as they can agree on how they want to settle the matters discussed in first section (division of assets, child issues, and more), they can get an uncontested divorce.

If during the divorce, the spouses find an area they cannot agree on, negotiate, or otherwise overcome, then they may have to seek mediation. If the divorce is at a standstill because of certain issues, then the divorce is considered contested, and the couple will have to hire a lawyer.

Is this helpful information, or is there a question about uncontested divorces we missed? Let us know in the comment box below.

Financial Life After Divorce for Women

When I was a young teenage girl, a nice older lady who was working at a grocery store got into a brief conversation with me about college education. She said, “Make sure you get a college degree to put in your back-pocket, in case you end up having to fully support yourself.” I didn’t find out the details of her life, but it’s probable that she was warning me to protect myself against a situation in which she had found herself entangled.

Rewind to about 50 years ago. The reality was most women didn’t think too much of careers or earning a living because that was, and perhaps still is in certain people’s view, the sole responsibility of their husbands. But as time went on from that point, divorce went on the rise. So has the rate of women receiving college degrees and entering the workforce.

Frequently for women, filing for divorce means more changes in lifestyle than separating from a lover– it means taking charge of their financial lives and becoming independent. These ladies are in good company, since the trend of women in the workforce is on the rise globally, divorced or not.

Bringing Home the Bacon

The cost of living is an expensive feat (an understatement for those residing in places like California or New York City). Those going through the divorce process would also agree, which is why it’s not only important to find ways to lower the cost of divorce, but also make sure you are able to support yourself as a newly single person with one lonely income.

Financial independence is increasingly important for women, who are still in the process of obtaining equal status and pay within the male-dominated work environment. They are making significant strides, as of late, and are predicted to do so even more in the near future.  Not only are 4 in 10 global workers female, an expected 1 billion more will become paid workers within the next ten years.

Educational feats provide similar and even more impressive statistics that show the increasing presence and potential for women in the economy. Outshining men within the developed world, 6 out of 10 college diplomas are earned by women. It seems the encouragement of the grocery store lady and others like her has worked.

Why Female Breadwinners Are Necessary

The continually high rate of divorce in the last of half of the 20th, and the beginning of the 21st century means women who are left single, and many times with children, are no longer dependent on men for their own sustenance. On top of this fact, it appears rare in the current economy to see even a marriage-intact household fruitfully surviving on only one income. Women are stepping up to the plate, not only for themselves but for the sake of economic progress within the American home and worldwide.

Collaborative Divorce: Stuck Between Contested and Uncontested

78630844The availability of the collaborative divorce process is gaining steam as more states sign it into law. A less adversarial form of divorce, collaborative divorce still allows the couple to make all separation agreements without sitting, or heatedly standing, in a courtroom.

Although uncontested divorce is the most ideal case in which spouses can settle things peacefully on their own, a collaborative agreement involving two lawyers keeps the situation out of any court drama that often ensues during contested cases. Thankfully, a new collaborative divorce law was just passed in Washington, solidly making available a more peaceful divorce experience for all involved.

Terminology Lesson

Just so we’re all on the same page, here are definitions of most kinds of divorce:

Uncontested Divorce: A divorce in which the couple agrees on all allocations of marital property, child custody, child support, and/or alimony. Uncontested divorce essentially eliminats the need for lawyers or a judge in court. An uncontested divorce usually gives a no-fault grounds for divorce.

Contested Divorce: The opposite of uncontested, contested divorce means the couple cannot make a settlement agreement on their own due to disputes. Lawyers and a judge are needed to make the settlement for them. The process is longer and more expensive.

Mediated Divorce: A divorce where the couple hires a mediator, who is usually a divorce attorney trained in mediation, to help them settle allocations agreeably.

Collaborative Divorce: Similar to mediated divorce, except the couple hires two lawyers, one for each spouse, to help them come to an agreement and draft the divorce settlement.

Good News for Washington

Despite its effectiveness, the collaborative divorce option is only enacted in a few U.S. states. One state that just made it available and signed it into law is Washington, to the joy of many supporters.

Called the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, it enables couples to utilize mental health professionals and child specialists as well as lawyers to make the out-of-court option run even smoother. Child therapist Kristin Little remarks, “You’re helping people to be good parents through the divorce, so you’re actually preventing a lot of the damage that can occur during the divorce.”

Indeed, going through divorce is especially hard on children, who tend to be caught in the eye of the storm. “I have been doing family law litigation 25 years and court is no place for families,” says Washington based lawyer, Cynthia First. When disputes need to be resolved themselves, leaving them out of the court’s hands means less hassle and more peace.

Amicable Splitting

The best way to settle any conflict or disagreement is through reasonable compromise and speedy resolution. That kind of attitude and problem-solving leads to feelings of goodwill for the ex-spouse and life after divorce. Even though spouses often have serious disagreements over what will happen to their life’s possessions during divorce, they can find a way to temper them independently through options like collaborative divorce. The collaborative divorce process frees up more time and resources for the divorcee to focus on other things, like moving on.