Category : Steps for a Divorce

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Younger People are More Likely to Use Online Divorce Forms, Older People Handle Divorce Better

Older, more mature people are best to handle and adjust to the stress of divorce far better then their younger counterparts. Ironically, as a website that made its fame by selling online divorce kits and do-it-yourself divorce our target audience does tend to be a younger demographic.

How to Save Yourself from an Expensive Divorce


When it comes to divorce, we have all heard the horror stories of how it can get messy. Everyone has a friend of a friend who went through a year-long divorce process that ended up costing him or her thousands of dollars just to get out of the marriage. In years past this all was unavoidable. Depending on your situation you would end up paying a lawyer  tons of money, even if the divorce was amicable. Those days are, thankfully, gone.

Today, it’s the couples’ with the power. Understanding the steps in the process and therefore properly evaluating your decisions can be done without the input of a lawyer. Understandably some situations dictate the necessity of a trained legal professional, but the landscape of the divorce world has clearly changed, here are some tips to work towards an inexpensive divorce.

Keep Divorce Lawyers from Fanning the Flames

File this under the easier said than done category, but the divorce process can be a much smoother process once the couple comes together to work on the particulars. Lawyers are not only expensive, they can also bog down the process, scraping for every inch they can exploit in a situation. While it is understood they are working towards what they believe is the best possible outcome for you, they can be detrimental to your progress. In these cases, unfortunately, the battle can go on and on, until the clients run out of money and limp to the settlement table.

Worse, if there are children, the fight depletes not only your pocketbook, but also your children’s sense of security. Once the legal fight is over, trying to establish a normal ongoing parenting relationship between both parents and the children can be very difficult.

Shouldering the Decision Load

Weeding through the decisions that need to be made when seeking a divorce is tedious and most likely painful. But it really is in the divorcing couple’s best interest, whenever possible, to tackle these matters together, rather that bickering and fighting over everything through the jargon and manifesto of divorce lawyers. Working together or with an agreed upon third party (such as a divorce mediator) on crucial decisions can help you and your spouse come to quick , fair decisions on the important matters. Not to mention, this saves both time and money.

If you are able to resolve the big questions surrounding children, money, and property, then you just need to ask the court, in writing, to grant a divorce. In many states, you don’t even have to appear in court. Many courts now make it relatively easy for people to handle an uncontested divorce without a lawyer.

While some situations need a divorce lawyer, in today’s society more the of responsibility has been continually placed on the couple themselves. The rise of online divorces has given many couples the freedom to control their divorce process, making decisions with their spouses and getting through the process with both their savings account and dignity intact. Don’t allow yourself to put yourself in a deep hole when you’re already trying to get out of one. Do the research on your situation and find out if online divorce is right for you.

5 Common Divorce Mistakes

The latest census poll shows the majority of divorcees of this era are divorcing their first spouse more frequently. This means that these people have never gone through an entire divorce process before and do not know all there is to know about the procedures and steps taken in order to properly and legally finalize a divorce.

The best way to better understand something is to educate yourself on the topic. That is why comprised below are a few of the most frequently made mistakes in the divorce process. Knowing what not to do will hopefully steer you in the direction of what to do.
#1. Believing your spouse will be fair and cooperative.

Divorces can be trying, lengthy and will usually always place stress on all involved. Most people facing a divorce are emotionally vulnerable and upset, and many are in a state of denial.  If a divorce is anything but amicable, always assume that your ex-spouse is going for the jugular. Going into a prize fight assuming your opponent will hit you softly will always end up with you on your back. In the case of divorce, you will never have the settlement you desire if you do not do all you can to obtain it.

#2. Lying to your lawyer.

Lawyers are your allies. They are your direct link to having a smooth and successful divorce. This can only come with complete and utter honesty. Lawyers have heard everything under the sun, and are typically professional about the ins and outs of their clients. Telling them absolutely everything, disclosing all information both good and bad, will ultimately help you in the long run when a decision is made in terms of your marriage dissolution.

#3. Lying in court.

If you do indeed have a trial, the result is directly affected by your credibility. Judges are generally experts at determining who is telling the truth and who is lying. This is because mass amounts of extensive research is done into the marriage and both parties themselves. Not only is lying in court a crime, but you are bound to be caught lying in court. Divorce lawyers have a duty to stop a proceeding and tell the court if he or she knows you are misrepresenting facts of any kind. If you have areas of your case that are sensitive, work with your lawyer on what you are going to say but do not misrepresent the facts.

#4. Allowing emotions rather than logic to rule your legal decisions.

Going through a divorce is most aptly compared to an emotional roller coaster. It is often hard to put feelings aside and keep an eye on the prize by being rational and sensible. As stressful as the situation may be, keeping composure at all times is best for all involved. If you let your emotions gain control, rather than reason and logic, you will undermine your case. Being reflective, versus being reactive, is the best way to approach the proceedings.

#5. Hiding or failing to produce documents.

You have an absolute right to see your spouse’s financial documents throughout all divorce proceedings; but this means your spouse absolutely has the right to see your financial documents too. This should not be a problem, as most couples share finances and share access. Although, on the off chance that separate accounts have been opened or are owned, both known to the spouse and unbeknownst, they need to be disclosed upon filing for divorce. Failure to do so will result in major repercussions. The court can force you to produce records, and order that you pay your spouse’s lawyer fees incurred in getting the records. Good clients and good lawyers produce documents quickly and voluntarily.

So, avoid these pitfalls at all costs. Be open and honest at all times, and let your case speak for itself. Do not make these mistakes, as they will hurt you and your case in the long run.

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.

Divorce Forecast: Post-Holiday Divorce Flood

The holidays are a wonderful time. Family and friends gather around to share good cheer and good food; there are presents to be unwrapped and enjoyed; and the cold weather makes everyone turn to cozy nights indoors. However, the cold weather also seems to provide drifting couples an incentive to stay together and retain the warmth of the season, and not a moment later. January to March marks the season of divorce, which has been a lesser known fact divorce attorneys and divorce coaches have kept to themselves.

Another fact divorce professionals have kept to themselves is how couples tend to stick together when their financial situation becomes a tight. But seeing as the recession appears to be coming to an end, we may be in for a flurry of divorce on top of the divorce season this year.

The Reason for the Season
Divorce season is not a myth or some sensationalized passing trend. For many years couples who see nothing but divorce in their future have taken one for the team and stuck out the marriage until the holiday season passed. Couples with children attempt to remain in each other’s good graces to avoid spoiling the holiday season for their children. Other couples remained unhappily married in an effort to not disrupt the status quo of the happy holidays. Then, there are those spouses who are on the fence about their marriage and are hoping some holiday magic will rub off on their marriage.

Regardless of the holidays, during times of financial hardship, couples tend to stick together to avoid empty wallets and an even worse financial state. This may seem counter intuitive, but the majority of marriages fizzle out instead of burst into flames. The less combustible marriages avoid the “D” word until they feel they can afford to begin life anew.

The holidays come and go, and sometimes the holidays take some marriages with them. The couples of these marriages view the New Year as a time for change, rebirth, and renewal. This is why in the weeks after the New Year, when children return from winter break, the divorce rate goes up 50% higher than any other month of the year.

How Do You Celebrate Divorce Season?
While the holidays amplify all that is wrong with your family and marriage, the season can come through and produce some shining gems of why you fought so hard for your family and marriage. There is never a good time for divorce, which is something all divorcees must accept and face. Even in the symbolic rush to shed your unhappy marriage by New Years, a month and 14 days later you must face the international holiday of love and romance.

If you’ve been thinking about divorce at all lately, now is the time to take a step back and make sure you don’t make a decision during the season of strained relationships. But, if divorce has been creeping up on your marriage for quite some time now, it would not be wise to dismiss the idea of divorce. Just celebrate the divorce season by making calm, rational decisions irrespective of the pressure of the holiday season.

Divorcing an Absent Spouse

200259869-001Divorce is a difficult enough process between the court fees and dealing with your spouse. However, divorce without a spouse is just as difficult, if not more stressful. No, you didn’t read that wrong, divorce can be done without knowing where your spouse is.

While some people may be thinking “If only I didn’t know where my spouse was…” those who are in this unique situation are wishing it were otherwise. But the American judicial system is not that cruel as to deny a person a divorce just because their spouse is nowhere to be found.

Search for the Absent Spouse

It is easier to complete divorce process with an absent spouse in some states than others. Most states with the no-fault option, like California, have provisions for spouses seeking a divorce who do not know the whereabouts of their spouse.

It is recommended to make all efforts of locating your spouse, and record your efforts before filing the divorce forms. Essentially, you will have to prove to the court you have exhausted all options of finding your spouse. If you’re at a loss for where to begin, we have compiled a list of the recommended ways of attempting to locate your spouse.

  • Search the phone book

  • Contact their last known employer for information about their current whereabouts

  • Check with the post office to see if they left a forwarding address

  • Check at their last known residence

  • Contact any and all friends or relatives you can for information

  • Send emails or social media messages to their email or profile

  • Check with the DMV, voter registry, and other public records offices

  • Hire a private investigator, if absolutely necessary

File the Divorce Petition

If you have exhausted your search options and still have not found your spouse, then their is one option left: Divorce by publication. The filing process is very similar to a regular divorce proceeding, except for a few things. Included in the regular paperwork is an application for a divorce by publication. To proceed with the divorce by publication, you must provide the court with the evidence of your extensive search.

If the judge accepts the proof of your search, they will grant you a divorce by publication. Then, the court will place an ad in the local newspaper in the area where your spouse is either believed to be or in your spouse’s last known location. The ad will be of the divorce summons, and will include all information about your case, including where your spouse should respond to the divorce summons.

The ad will run in the newspaper for a certain number of weeks, depending on which state the search is taking place. In California, the divorce by publication ad will run in the newspaper once a week for 4 weeks in a row. After the running of the ad, your spouse has 30 days to respond to the court regarding the divorce.

If the spouse does not respond within the grace period, you will be granted a default divorce. However, in California, the courts will not make judgements about any joint property, assets, or child-related matters.

Can I Use an Online Divorce Forms Service?

The divorce by publication process can be completed by an online divorce forms service, like, as long as the aforementioned steps are taken. However, it is advised to research the divorce by publication process in your specific state before beginning the divorce process.

Can NC Manufacture “Healthy” Marriages

82770193There are many laws and bill in the works that would make it more difficult to get a divorce in various states. The most recent state to make motions to impose stricter divorce laws on their citizens is North Carolina. Senator Austin Allran of Hickory, North Carolina, and Senator Warren Daniel of Morganton, North Carolina are the main supporters of House Bill 518. HB 518 is also known by the monicker of The Healthy Marriage Act, which lends itself to some interesting arguments against the “Healthy” Marriage Act.

HB 518

HB 518 is some very interesting legislation that seems to be working from the wrong side of a healthy marriage. This bill proposes to make a divorcing couple observe a 2 year waiting period before any action to divorce can be taken.

The spouse instigating the divorce must file an intent to divorce with the court, and notify their not-too-soon-to-be-ex of the beginning of their 2 year waiting period. HB 518 graciously makes no demand upon the couple to live separate and apart for the 2 years; and wouldn’t you know, the provision allowing couples to have “isolated incidents of sexual intercourse” in the current divorce law would remain intact in HB 518.

However, the couple must complete a few courses during the waiting period. Firstly, the couple must complete an improving communication skills course, and a conflict-resolution course. These courses have no requirement concerning time of completion, or length of course. Additionally, the couple may complete the courses separately.

If the divorcing couple has children, then there is one more stipulation. The couple must complete a course at least 4 hours long about the impact of divorce on children.

Fostering “Healthy” Marriages?

The “Healthy” Marriage Act basically describes laughable attempts at patching up a marriage. Senators Allran and Daniel could have really benefited from the counsel of the twins from the Parent Trap. But alas, HB 518 is not some hare-brained scheme from a family frolic film; HB 518 is a real piece of legislation officials are currently considering.

I’m sure the intentions behind HB 518 are pure and from the goodness of the Senator’s hearts, but a bill that extends the waiting period so long, and allows cohabitation and even sexual relations is just too much to be believed. If the Senators wanted to make a dent in the high divorce rate and foster healthy marriages, they should put their efforts into the other end of a marriage: the beginning.

No one wants to pose restrictions on love, ideologically. But lets be adults and face the fact that marriage is regulated through bureaucracy and legislation. If we wanted to give starry-eyed lovers the best chance at marriage, we would pass laws imposing things like marriage counseling and conflict resolution courses on prospective newlyweds.

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.

Getting a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage |

covenant marriage divorce

If you’ve never heard of a covenant marriage, or if you know very little about covenant marriage, it’s probably because it is only offered in 3 states. Covenant marriages are offered in Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana, but the concept of the covenant marriage has been around for quite some time.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

A covenant marriage is different from a “regular” marriage because the couples in covenant marriages essentially waive their rights to a no-fault divorce. Covenant marriages are said to be more binding than regular marriages because they are based on covenants, not contracts.

A covenant is a solemn, usually religious, agreement, whereas a contract is a legal agreement. Proponents of covenant marriages believe “regular” marriages are contract-based marriages, which do not hold marriage as sacred and permanent an institution. Due to the deep religious affiliation covenant marriages have, covenant marriages have certain laws imposed upon them that make it difficult to divorce.

Guidelines of a Covenant Marriage

A covenant marriage requires couples to attend premarital counseling, and to fill out special covenant marriage paperwork. During the premarital counseling sessions, the couple is advised of the severity of committing to a lifelong marriage, the legal restrictions on divorce, and how to deal with marital issues.

The prospective spouses then must file an intent to enter into a covenant marriage. The intent (or declaration) involves a few documents that demonstrate both parties’ willingness to enter into a covenant of marriage. All this paperwork includes disclaimers about the stipulations of a covenant marriage, like the difficulties of divorcing out of a covenant marriage and more.

Divorce in Covenant Marriages

The first step in seeking a divorce in a covenant marriage is to seek marriage counseling. The covenant both parties agreed to when they wedded includes a clause about always seeking counseling should issues arise.

There are stringent divorce grounds in a covenant marriage; but since only three states offer the covenant marriage option, here are the specific grounds:

Arkansas: There are 4 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Conviction of a felony or serious crime

  3. Physical or sexual abuse of one of your children

  4. Living separate and apart for at least 2 years; living separate and apart for 2 years and 6 months, if there are children; or living separate and apart for at least 1 year if there has been a form of abuse

Arizona: There are 8 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Abandonment for 1 year or more

  3. Imprisonment or death sentence due to conviction of a felony

  4. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

  5. Living separate and apart for 2 consecutive years

  6. Being legally separated for 1 year

  7. Substance and/or alcohol abuse

  8. Both spouses agree to the divorce

Louisiana: There are 5 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Imprisonment or death sentence due to conviction of a felony

  3. Abandonment for 1 year or more

  4. Physical or sexual abuse

  5. Living separate and apart for 2 years; under legal separation, living separate and apart for 1 year, or 1 year and 6 months if there are children.

Top 10 Divorce Rates By State

Divorce rate by state



Do you wonder how your state is holding up compared to others when it comes to couples, who file for divorce?

If so, a recent Huffington Post article shedding light on how all 50 states in the US stack up will be of interest. According to the data, the top 10 states by divorce rate range from 11 divorces per 1,000 population to 14 per 1,000.





Starting from most divorce prone to least, here’s the breakdown.

1. Alaska 14/1,000

2. Alabama 13/1,000

3. Arkansas 13/1,000

4. Kentucky 13/1,000

5. Oklahoma 13/1,000

6. Nevada 12/1,000

7. Maine 11/1,000

8. Georgia 11/1,000

9. Tennessee 11/1,000

10.Mississippi 11/1,000

Alaska’s filing fee was one of the lowest in the nation at $150 and had a minimum total processing time of around 30 days. As a result, it’s also the friendliest state in the union when it comes to do it yourself divorce.

States like Mississippi were able to keep filing fees even lower at just $52, but the smaller price tag comes at a price of a 240-day processing time, which can prove to be problematic for cases of uncontested divorce, as in the longer a dispute continues, the more likely conflicts can arise between spouses looking for a dissolution to their marriage.

Perhaps the most difficult state to get a divorce is Arkansas, which clocked in with an “ease of filing score” of 20 percent. (And with good reason.) The Natural State has a divorce filing fee of $165 and a 540-day minimum total processing time.

Of course, in every case, going the DIY divorce route will speed things along significantly, but if you’re going that route, make sure any issues that exist between you and your spouse can be worked out in mediation. The more lawyers are involved, the more the overall cost of the divorce will spike.

Here’s the full report if you’d like to know where your state ranked.

Do you think it should be easier or more difficult to apply for a divorce?