Category : Do It Yourself Divorce

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Preparing for a Child Custody Battle

Becoming single can be a scary thing. Along with the swirling emotions and impending divorce, the uncertainty of the future can create a negative residual effect on your daily life as you try to get through this upsetting process. However, with that being said, it is important to understand the custody laws and potential ruling, as well as taking the necessary steps to ensure you do not make a crucial mistake. We are speaking more about contested divorce rather than a mutual understanding, uncontested divorce proceeding.

Know the Law

Understandably, you are more than likely going to hire a lawyer, but it will help in many ways to get familiar with the custody laws and procedures in your local area. The laws around child custody can very state by state and even county by county in some states. The procedures may vary and understanding what the potential and likely outcomes are can only arm you with the knowledge needed to potentially make tough decisions; but it can also help alleviate any fears, both rational and irrational when it comes to this emotionally toxic situation.

Get Help

Do your due diligence when it comes to hiring a lawyer. If you know you’re going to be in a battle over custody in a contested divorce make sure you do the research and hire a lawyer you trust, as well as one that specializes in child custody. You may be able to get free consultation on the matter. Make sure you get involved in your case and do the necessary homework when you do hire a lawyer, don’t just sit back and assume you don’t need to know anything about the proceedings and potential outcomes. Don’t allow yourself to be blindsided by anything in your divorce proceedings, and things are more likely to go your way.

If there are other complications in your divorce proceedings, like child abuse, spousal abuse, or even your ruthless spouse’s lawyer, make sure you do the right things. For example, in situations of domestic abuse, contact a local shelter to inquire about assistance, legal or otherwise; never try to keep it hidden because it won’t go away. Be sure to conduct yourself properly throughout your divorce proceedings; do not do anything to further implicate yourself in a negative way.

There is no sure fire way to make it through the divorce process unscathed. It can be a devastating thing if you let it, but believe it or not, there are positive things that can come out of it. Most couples wait until the breaking point to confront their issues, so be glad you got to this point and the end of a bad phase is in site and the beginning of a new, positive phase is on the horizon. Life is full of complications; don’t let yourself be weighed down to the point where you are afraid of changing the negativity around you. For more information about all laws on divorce in each state or to find out information on how to file for an 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.

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.

Detox After Divorce

detoxDivorce marks a horrible time in a person’s life. The divorcee is probably feeling unwanted, brokenhearted, lost, and contagiously depressed. Wherever you go, whoever you see makes you think of your divorce. It comes up in conversations with your best friend, your family members, and sometimes unsuspecting grocery store employees.

No doubt about it, once divorce worms its way into your life it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. Divorce is like a contagious, cancerous disease. But did you know there are ways to detoxify your life?

Detox Your Demons…

Nestled in West Hollywood, California is the Divorce Detox center. The Divorce Detox center was opened by Allison Pescosolido and Andra Brosh to help people “learn valuable skills to restart [their] life.”

In December 2012, a New York Times columnist took part of one of the Divorce Detox programs and wrote an in-depth article about the experience. The journalist went through individual sessions with life coach Allison Pescosolido, who walked him through healing activities like finding new hobbies, purging your life of unnecessary things, setting personal goals, and self reflection (lots of self reflection).

Divorce Detox offers a spectrum of services and programs. They offer an internet “Divorce Detox Survival Kit” that comes at only $19.00, but for the full treatment you’ll have to dish out $3,500.00 for their “Individual Intensive.”

… Yourself for Less

We don’t know about you, but we don’t have $3,500.00 lying around. So here are some tips to help gain the same peace of mind and vigor one would feel after Divorce Detox sessions.

Tip #1: Focus on the things in life you are grateful for. If you count your blessings you are focusing on things that make you feel good in life, things you look forward to. This is part of learning to enjoy life on your own and allow yourself to thrive.

Tip #2: Don’t shy away from the truth. Focus on positive things, but accept the negatives in your life, in your personality, and in your relationship pattern. Accept them, but then work on fixing the negatives. It’s easy to blame the ex for everything, but don’t forget you voluntarily stayed with that person.

Tip #3: “I am a human.” Repeat this phrase at least once a day, and more if necessary. By admitting to yourself you are human means you accept you will make mistakes, but constantly change and evolve as you live. Humans, like all living things, are perpetually going through cycles of change, growth, and renewal. Embrace it and remind yourself you are always changing; you are not the person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago.

There you have it, basic divorce detoxification on the cheap. Now go forth and thrive, you joyful, honest human! | 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.

DIY Divorce: Five Tips To Follow For Navigating A Marriage Breakup Without An Attorney

Do it Yourself divorce and how to navigate the processA do it yourself divorce can seem intimidating when you’re dealing with the breakup of a marriage and all the turmoil that goes along with it. However, it can also make your life much simpler and place you in a better position to move on once the papers have been filed. But should you choose to go this route, make sure you follow these five tips to navigate it successfully and keep the high-priced family law attorneys away.

1. Talk With Your County Clerk.

The first place to start with any DIY divorce proceeding is with your county clerk. While this person is not a legal professional, and thus cannot dispense advice for you and your soon-to-be ex, they can give you an overview of filing fees, necessary court documents, and a variety of other resources. If you’re too shy to go down to your county courthouse and would rather deal with everything via phone or online, here’s a great place to start.

2. Use A DIY Divorce Web-Based Service.

Another way to take the hassle out of your decision to file for divorce is to use a web-based service like Just answer a simple set of questions, and allow the service to produce the necessary forms that you may then submit to your county clerk.

3. Find A Mediator For Any Outstanding Issues.

A DIY divorce definitely isn’t for parties, who wish to contest their divorce, but that doesn’t mean that if you have two or three outstanding issues, you should refrain from considering it. By choosing a professional divorce mediator, you can work through issues that might otherwise end up in court.

4. Handle Emotions And Distrust Like A Professional.

In instances of infidelity, it can be especially hard to trust your spouse enough to handle the divorce outside of the courtroom. When you’re divorcing someone, who has betrayed you or made you angry, it can be risky business pursuing the do it yourself divorce route. But don’t think you have to give up on the option just because he/she is a rascal. Instead, handle all your communications like a professional. Record conversations. Let them know you’re recording conversations. And be very clear that you are doing so because you want as little conflict as possible throughout the process, and that as long as you’re dealing with one another fairly, it will be best for both sets of interests.

5. Follow Up To Make Certain Quit-Claim Deeds And Other Documents Have Been Executed Properly.

Finally, when it comes to a DIY divorce, there will be some things for which you’ll need to rely on your soon-to-be ex. One that immediately comes to mind is home ownership. If one of you is keeping the house and the other is leaving, then to absolve the departing party from any interest in the home, you’ll need to sign a quit-claim deed. Until both signatures are on the document, and it has been finalized, you may still be liable for the home, and that can be a problem should a payment get missed or the home go into foreclosure.

A do it yourself divorce can relieve much of the headaches associated with the end of a marriage. But even so, make sure you follow these five tips for helping it to go as smoothly as possible.

What It Takes To Make DIY Divorce Work

skd284550sdcA recent article on Huffington Post caught our eye because it highlighted the dangers of a do it yourself divorce if you decide to use less than reputable sources in filing divorce papers.

The specific case cited in the HuffPo article had to do with a woman, who was selling divorce help on Craigslist as a cheap alternative.

The number went to someone’s home phone, and the woman declined to speak with HuffPo because she said she “didn’t want to get in trouble.”

Wise move. 

There are certainly laws in place that prevent non-legal experts from dispensing legal advice, and if the woman had no legal qualifications, then she would have certainly been in trouble for taking out the ad that she did, and offering the service.

Clearly, the circumstances behind this case were shady from the beginning, and it’s important that anyone interested in a DIY divorce knows what to look for and what to avoid if deciding to go completely “pro se,” or without an attorney, when they file for divorce.

Reputable vs. Non-Reputable

Services like offer you the appropriate paperwork for your state of residence. They can walk you through the basic process WITHOUT dispensing legal advice. All forms are current and up-to-date, and there is nothing to stop you from printing them off and taking them to an attorney for consultation if you are uncertain. The site simply makes it easier for you and your spouse to navigate the legal waters surrounding a divorce.

Craigslist do it yourself services aren’t vetted. They are simply people flying “under the radar” trying to profit off of your own uncertainty.

When DIY Is Right For You

DIY divorce cases work best when they are uncontested and there is some solidarity between the spouses.

If one party “lawyers up,” then it may be in your best interests to hire an attorney as well (unless, of course, you ARE an attorney).

Remember that your judge cannot tell you what you should do, so if you decide to go “pro se” in a contested divorce proceeding, you could be burdening yourself with a major disadvantage.

Ideally, you and your spouse can walk through the DIY process together, conflict-free, or at least work out whatever differences you may have in mediation. Either method makes DIY the cheapest and most stress-free route to go for ending your marriage.

Divorce Mediation: What You Should Expect

Divorce MediationEnding your marriage by a do it yourself divorce doesn’t necessarily mean you part ways without conflict. It simply means that you’ve found another way of handling the conflict that doesn’t require costly attorney’s fees or bitter disputes and hostilities that can go on for years.

If you do feel conflict and still want to file for divorce, the most common workaround is divorce mediation. By enlisting the help of a trained mediator, calmer heads can prevail. But to give you a better idea of what to expect from your mediation, here’s what others have had to say:

The Process

According to Casey DuBose, legal professional at Goldberg Jones, the process for mediation is simple enough.

“You’ll pick a mediator who is usually an ex-judge,” DuBose explained. “During the mediation, you both present your evidence, requests, and demands. You will usually present all this information to the mediator without the other party. The mediator will review it and present a compromise plan to the both of you. You can either accept it or continue with counter-offers. At the end of the day, there will be a legal settlement agreement that puts the final plan down on paper to settle the divorce.”

Mediator Stephanie Vardavas agreed with most aspects of the process, but added that mediators are not always ex-judges. They can also come from the legal and counseling professions. She did confirm that most mediation happens while the parties are in separate locations. However:

“If all goes well, and an apparent agreement is reached, the mediator brings the parties together at the end of the day and reads her summary of the terms of the agreement to both sides for confirmation,” Vardavas said. “At this point it is typical for each side to offer some clarification and/or refinement of the terms. Once it is clear that there is an agreement, the parties’ counsel write it up on the spot and the parties sign it. It is fully enforceable in court, and in the case of commercial mediations (i.e. outside the realm of family law), in some states a mediation agreement has the status not merely of a contract, but of a judgment instead. This can greatly simplify the task of enforcing it.”

Is Mediation For You? 

To this question, California-based family law attorney Matthew Breddan explains that mediation “will only work if you both want to resolve the matter and have an open mind.”

It’s also for individuals, who don’t have much time or money to work through a divorce proceeding, and for couples with children who prefer to not place any additional strain on their little ones.

In other words, if you both want the same thing out of the divorce and believe there are different ways of having your demands met, you’re a good candidate for mediation and DIY divorce in general.

My Spouse Deserted Me: Is DIY Divorce A Viable Option?

my spouse deserted meRecently, a woman, whose husband had walked out on her, was asking what her next steps should be for getting out of the marriage. The woman was interested in filing Texas divorce forms, but wasn’t sure how it would affect her case going the do-it-yourself divorce route.

The answer isn’t that cut-and-dry without knowing more about her specific situation, but we would suggest starting with a conversation. Communicating on how the divorce action will be handled is a vital first step to making sure whatever happens next goes smoothly. Divorces of this nature work best when there is little-to-no conflict between the divorcing parties. If conflict can be handled via mediation, that’s a much easier path than immediately hiring an attorney.

If the leaving spouse refuses to communicate and is not taking any action themselves, then we would not see the harm in filing on one’s own. However, if the leaving spouse “lawyers up,” then it’s a good idea to do the same. Regardless, there are steps that one can take right away to minimize the headaches.

  • Remove your name from joint credit cards. Revenge spending is all-too-common in divorce cases, and in many states, a spouse will be equally liable for the purchases made via a joint card.
  • Get organized. By documenting times, places, dates, and events, a woman can prove desertion, which will go a long way in winning the court’s sympathy and attaining a favorable settlement.
  • Cease physical relations.
  • Take financial inventory. Know what assets are yours, what assets are joint, and what your portion of debts should be.

In the end, “succeeding” in a divorce case is less about who files first and more about who is the most prepared. In cases of desertion, many times the leaving spouse just wants out, and they’re not thinking enough about the legalities. This presents a solid opportunity for the deserted to take action on their own and end the marriage in the smoothest possible terms. In all things, fairness, openness, and a willingness to communicate, are your keys to an amicable DIY divorce.

Top 5 Divorce Books To Start Your DIY Journey

Divorce booksDo-it-yourself divorce can be a hard road to hold if you’re just starting out. You have so much emotion involved even making the decision to file, that your head can get a little cloudy when it comes to your next move. While we understand where you’re coming from and work hard to bring you some helpful tips and advice several times each week, we know we can’t provide all of the support you may need, all the time. That’s why we’ve put together our selection of the five best books for starting your DIY divorce journey. All of these are currently available from Here goes!

5. Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally

This book by Jeffrey A. Landers currently holds a 5-star rating on Amazon, and seeks to help women secure their financial futures before, during, and after the divorce. Landers is a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), and he helps women divide their stress from their finances so they can approach the divorce in a way that will best help their finances. Available in Paperback or on Kindle.

4. Getting Past Your Breakup: How To Turn A Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened To You

While Susan J. Elliott’s book wasn’t around when I decided to file for divorce, I sure could have used it! It contains some great tips for changing your outlook and seeing the positives in a much quicker manner than simply stumbling through your recovery. Paperback and Kindle editions available.

3. Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From A Top Divorce Lawyer

It isn’t every day that you can get some advice from a genuine lawyer for 99 cents, but if you have a Kindle, then author Marilyn Stowe is here to help. Stowe is ITV This Morning’s resident legal expert, and though her specific legal advice pertains to the UK, where she practices, there are several concepts in this book that are universal. Plus, you can’t beat that price!

2. Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies For Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce

JoAnne Pedro-Carroll penned this guide to helping your children deal with the event that will probably have the most impact on their lives. If your kids are your world, then you definitely don’t want to be the reason for the problems in their lives. You owe it to them and to yourself to read this invaluable advice from a highly respected psychologist, researcher, and developer of programs for children. Also available in Paperback and on the Kindle platform.

1. The Divorce Organizer & Planner

While you can no longer take this guide as gospel when it comes to doing your own divorce — it was first published in 2004 — it is still one of the best out there for priming the divorce pump and steering you in the right legal directions. Available inside are some helpful tips and suggestions for how to pick a mediator, how to gather and organize important financial information, how to keep clear records of alimony/child support/children’s expenses, and so much more. Brette McWhorter Sember, a matrimonial attorney, is the mind behind it. Good info, and yes, it is currently available in both Kindle and Paperback editions!

If you do need help with the current forms and procedures, consider giving a try. We are up-to-date with court-approved forms, and we can walk you through the whole process of getting a DIY divorce for a fraction of the cost that a normal dissolution would run you.