Do It Yourself Divorce
In a do-it-yourself “pro se” divorce, you and your spouse represent yourselves before the court and do not hire attorneys to council you on your legal rights or provide the kind of legal documentation necessary to make your divorce when finished actually legal.
Typically, you and your spouse would also decide how to divide your financial assets and develop your own parenting plan, if you have children, and address the potentially contentious issues of spousal and child support and custody.
- You and your spouse proceed on your own to draft and file the necessary court documents, including:
- the summons and petition
- financial disclosure statements
- any motions
- the marital settlement agreement, if any
- and the final judgment of divorce
- You and your spouse must either work out an agreement together or present your legal disputes to an impersonal court that will expect you to follow proper judicial procedure.
- If an issue is not agreed upon, you and your spouse must be prepared to act as your own representatives. You must call witnesses, prepare exhibits, ask questions of the opposing party, and tell the court why your request for specific orders should be granted, within specific procedural requirements.
- Pro se divorce generally works well when you both agree on practically everything and your issues are very simple such as in cases with little property and no children.