We got a common question from most of your clients about can he/ she get a divorce without a lawyer? Today, you will get to know about the 6 effective steps to get divorced without a lawyer.
Divorce is the D-word for a nightmare for most people. One divorce can put you through a state of mental and physical stress, pain, overflowing emotions, and into great contemplation. But elsewhere, it can also come as a relief if you’ve been suffering much from the social ties that commit you and your partner.
While marriage is an agreement between two people, it can also become the reason for an altercation in a divorce. But more often than not, we see people getting divorced with mutual consent about all their responsibilities and agreements. That is a good sign as cases like these are easy to handle, and both partners in the marriage can readily proceed without a lawyer for getting a divorce.
Steps of Getting a Divorce Without a Lawyer
With that in mind, we will talk about this article – how can you get divorced without a lawyer? If you’re reading this, We know you’re emotionally rattled and require some hope of doing this all by yourself. But, bear with us for now, and by the end, we promise that you will have some hope to do this confidently.
Step 01: Finding Information Related to a Divorce
There are numerous sites on the web to find information about divorce, and so, it’s easy to be perplexed by information overflow. The best way around this is to look for websites that give information about divorce in your state or province. Take notes while you conduct your own research and cross-check with any other sources as to whether they are correct or not. Still, if you have any confusion about finding the related information for your divorce then contact an experienced divorce lawyer.
Let’s cover some basic points you should cover to proceed with your own divorce:
- Separation of assets/property
- Child care and visitation rights
- Spousal rights
- Marital homes
- Right to pension
Above all, you and your partner need to be agreed on certain marital matters such as – your family assets, debts, financial responsibilities, arrangements for custody and arrangements, and other peripherals before moving on with the divorce.
Step 02: Clearing the Expectation for Child Visitation and Custody Rights
Taking shared responsibility for the children and agreeing upon them is one of the most important decisions in a divorce. If you cannot agree about that with your partner, then a mediator is the best person for a solution. Usually, the mother gets the priority for keeping a child under the age of 18, in which case the father gets more visitation time with his child since one parent is getting more time with the child.
Besides, child abuse complaints and spousal violence are two major causes that influence the judge’s decision in court. In such a case, the court may issue a child protection order that grants permission for the child to stay with non-violent parents.
Step 03: Knowing the Rights about Division of Asset/Property
The court’s decision regarding the division of property depends on some very important factors. These factors are financial contributions made during the marital stage, concerns for the welfare of the children.
Other factors evaluate the state of the marriage, such as the status of the union, the timeline of marriage, the economic status of the partners before and during the marriage.
Other factors include the division of assets/property. The division depends on crucial parameters such as certain qualifications of each partner (educational, economical, socio-economical), the amount of property/asset each partner owns under his/her name, and some other factors.
Any asset that does not fall under ‘titled’ documents (i.e., a mortgaged home) shall be owned by the person who paid for it during separation. When it comes to gifts, they will be legally entitled to the recipient. For any asset owned or paid using funds from a joint bank account, both spouses shall be owned by both spouses, referred to as ‘community property in some states such as California.
Equalization payment is another way of evaluating the assets possessed by each party. It’s also a means to calculate the economic standing of the couple starting from the first day of marriage until its termination. Everything between these two dates is evaluated in monetary value. This method is used to determine the Net Family Property (NFP) and ultimately helps to decide which party is financially sound than the other.
Step 04: Knowing in Details about ‘Matrimonial Home’ and Its Significance
In legal terms, the term ‘Matrimonial home’ describes a property where both the spouses lived together during their marriage and in which both parties have a substantial interest. It is crucial to address matrimonial homes during your agreement on the property with your spouse because the owner cannot exclude this from his/her NFP evaluation.
Step 05: Role of Pension
Many people don’t take pension into account while making a mutual agreement for divorce. But in reality, it makes an essential point for two things:
- Calculating your Net Family Property (NFP)
- Assessing your Equalization of Payment
Determining the value of one’s pension is difficult and cannot be done correctly. So we recommend you take help from an actuary. Let’s discuss why pensions are challenging to evaluate correctly. Here’s why,
A pension’s value is usually more than it stands for and the simple reason is that the base value of this estimation depends on the following variables –
- years of service the person has in his/her job life
- whether or not the person considered early retirement
- promotions gained during service
- whether the person was terminated from the service
- whether or not the person worked normally until the last day of retirement
The federal legislation governs your pension, and every pension has its own terms and conditions. And so, the rights during a divorce will only be applicable if your pension becomes payable at the time of the divorce.
Step 06: Considering Tax Issues
The tax has serious and long-term consequences that you need to know of before taking a divorce. It would help if you addressed this – consult with an accountant or a tax preparer. It’ll help you to stay aware of potential tax issues. Visit the IRS official website for free tax-related information and learn about tax-related matters concerning divorce.
Alimony – another huge legal obligation that is related to tax-filing as it is taxable to the recipient. In simpler terms, if one-half of the spouse is receiving alimony, that partner must also pay the taxes imposed on the alimony the other partner is receiving. Also, the paying partner gets to deduct it.
In all honesty, divorce is hard for everyone. It’s essential to be careful in every step while you’re going through with it. I’ve seen people talk about completing a divorce with only about $650. It’s only possible if they know end-to-end what they are doing.
So, if you’re not sure of what to do, you can always consult a lawyer as first consultations are free in most cases. Alternatively, you can research online about your quires. Also, you can ask a peer who has been through the same process and learn from their experience.