Do It Yourself Divorce: Is It a Good Idea?

Ending a marriage isn’t an easy decision or a walk in the park. Add divorce attorneys to the mix and the level of stress and drama can go through the roof.

There’s a short-cut to dissolving a marriage. It’s called a do it yourself divorce.

DIY divorces allow you to bypass the hassle of vetting a good lawyer. Divorce attorneys aren’t cheap, and the process of securing one is just as much a headache as paying the retainer to hire one.

With a do-it-yourself marriage dissolution, you save a few pennies as well. The process takes a little longer, but it’s cheaper. You save on the hourly cost of hiring legal aid. That extra change can go towards the children or procuring another place to live.

Have you and your spouse made the difficult decision to part ways? Explore whether or not you should hire a lawyer or have a do it yourself divorce.

A Do It Yourself Divorce 

A DIY divorce is an amicable decision between two people to dissolve their marriage. Instead of hiring lawyers, they submit the legal divorce paperwork to the courts themselves.

Is this type of dissolution of marriage legal? Yes, it is. The process works differently in each state, but you have the right to file for divorce without a lawyer.

It’s a matter of both parties agreeing and submitting the paperwork correctly. Some states streamline the process by allowing couples to file online.

Doing It Yourselves With Children Involved

Having children changes the dynamic of how divorces get settled. Deciding who gets the children or how time gets divided between parents can get ugly.

Sometimes you need a mediator like an attorney.

In a do-it-yourself situation, you have to work that out yourselves. That also includes child support, the primary residence of the children, and decision making.

When a dissolution involves children, it’s smart to get counseling prior to filing for divorce. Consult with a professional to get advice on how to transition through a divorce with kids.

Most consultations are free for the first hour but charge a small fee every hour afterward.

Alimony and Property

How much does the indigent spouse get? That’s another huge debate that comes up a divorce. Most states don’t allow you to walk away and leave a spouse high and dry, homeless and hungry.

In a DIY divorce, the affluent spouse must make the responsible decision of how much alimony to dish out. He or she must also be willing to let go of the primary home or secure another residence for the other spouse.

Alimony and division of property require maturity and civility. Be willing to have both when you divorce without an attorney. If not, what happens as a result of not doing so can get disastrous for the whole family.

In the End 

Do it yourself divorce has its pros and cons. Consult with a professional before going this route, then handle things with care.

We have more family life advice like this available. Take a peek into our lifestyle guides for additional hacks and tips.


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