What to do before filing for divorce?

divorce document preparation services in Orange County what to do before filing for divorce What to do before filing for divorce? 146406303 0 final 300x300

What to do before filing for divorce is a broad question. This article is not about secretly preparing for filing a divorce opening credit new credit cards, changing passwords on emails/phones/ bank accounts, keeping the journal of abuse, ext. Rather this article is providing a general overview of the options you have if you decide to file for divorce and cannot afford to hire an attorney or chose not to hire an attorney.

  1. “Do it yourself” is option one of the option when you think about What to do before filing for divorce.

There is a lot of information provided on the OC Superior Court websites about which forms to choose and which steps to take going through the proceeding. There are also self-help centers that may assist you in filling out the divorce forms. The positive side of doing it yourself is you save money.

The negative side is you spend a lot of time, filling the divorce forms, but also:

– going to the court filing those forms

– finding someone to serve your spouse

– preparing stipulated judgment with especially required terminology, ext.

In addition, self-help centers are usually providing you with very general information on which forms to file and how to fill them regardless of very specific issues you need the court involvement with. Sometimes, filing those forms would complicate the following steps of the process.

Preparing and filing for divorce by yourself is not the best option because the last set of documents is difficult to fill if you are not a legal professional. Most of the people who started divorce filing by themselves apparently reaching legal professionals because the following documents are repeatedly getting rejected by the court. Sometimes it is more difficult for a legal professional to fix the mistakes you have already done because the initial set of documents was filed with the court.

  1. What to do before filing for divorce – considering hiring a certified paralegal.

What to do before filing a divorce is you have a time deficit and do not want to learn how to do it yourself?

The important point is if a paralegal assisting you she or he should do it under the direct supervision of an attorney physically present in her office.

The positive side of this it is much less expensive and usually faster and more efficient than hiring an attorney.

The negative side is a paralegal cannot give you legal advice and very often in the process of filling the forms you might not be certain how to properly divide community property and eventually the paralegal will make your work with a family law attorney that would result in the delay of the process. Many paralegals will have a price that would exceed a flat fee which some attorneys are charging for uncontested divorce because supervision of the attorney they are working under would involve an additional cost.

  1. What to do before filing for divorce- Legal Document Assistant (LDA).

An LDA provides help similar to a paralegal, except there is no need for an attorney’s direct supervision. An LDA is a certified paralegal, licensed, bonded, and has the ability to provide services to the public without attorney supervision. The cost is usually low but the responsibilities are very low as well. Basically, they are assisting you with filling the forms without legal advice and providing some kind of brochures to figure out the particular issues/ problems which might come up in the future. If you screw up any issue of the divorce and get your judgment omitting some assets or make other mistakes. In the best-case scenario, LDA’s liability is the amount of bond they are supposed to have, which is only $25000. An attorney’s malpractice liability is usually between $800,000 and $2,000,000.

4. What to do before filing for divorce if you have contested issues.

All the above options are appropriate if you have an uncontested divorce, but What to do before filing for divorce if you are anticipating contested?

What to do before filing for divorce if you think you might have a disagreement with your spouse about the division of your property, spousal or child support?

One of the solutions would be mediation.

Angela is an attorney and a certified mediator with an excellent history of successful mediation settling at least 50-60 highly contested cases. We will help you negotiate peacefully without pressure and stress on your children.

Call Angela to begin a new chapter in your life.

One who is considering filing for divorce without the financial resources or inclination to hire a lawyer should do so very carefully and gingerly.

Knowing steps in advance can make a huge change in efficiency and smoothness for doing before actual divorce is filed and carried out. Here are some things to keep in eye on and resources that will be helpful to those who are undergoing this most difficult of life transitions.

Educate Yourself on the Process

It is, therefore, be important for one to gain an understanding of the divorce process in his/her jurisdiction. Most courts offer free resources, such as workshops and self-help guides, in support of litigants. Such resources can be presented to give more insight into what the legalities are, paperwork requirements, and how it is generally done.

Utilizing Self-Help Resources

Websites and Self-Help Centers: There are some court websites that do show comprehensive guides and the forms required when filing for a divorce. Besides, there are self-help centers that are in a position to guide on how to fill the forms and at the same time comprehend the procedural part pertaining to divorce filing.

– Legal Aid Societies: These refer to organizations that avail legal assistance, either free or at a relatively low cost, to individuals whose incomes fall below some levels. Depending on the operating level, these may offer advice or even litigation services to such a person on whose behalf they are serving.

Alternative to Traditional Legal Support

Certified Paralegals: You may need to save a lot of your money when you hire a certified paralegal to help with divorce paperwork. Make sure the paralegal is working under an attorney to make sure your papers are prepared and filed properly. They do not, however, mind you, take on legal counsel. Legal Document Assistants (LDAs): LDAs offer assistance in court form preparation and simple pointers in filling and serving court forms in a divorce process. Cheaper than hiring a lawyer, note that they do not provide any kind of legal advice or assistance in the court process.

Consider Mediation for Contested Issues

Mediation would be a good idea if you are going to expect that you and your partner would have some disagreement. In this case, mediation would involve involving a neutral third party, and this person would assist them in negotiations and hammering out agreements on such a problem as child custody, property division, and support. Mediation can be less adversarial and costly than going to court and often results in a more amicable settlement.

Preparing Your Documents Carefully

Whether you go it alone or with the help of an attorney in a more limited capacity, one makes sure that all the divorce papers are properly drawn up and filed; mistakes or omissions in the papers can create delays, or even worse.

If possible, have a legal professional review your paperwork before submission. Financial and Emotional Preparation Besides, it can be equally important that you arrange your finances and try to gather some emotional support. You can be able to get a financial advisor whom you can consult and be guided on how the issue of divorce is going to affect your financial scenario. Support groups and counseling might provide emotional support and guidance. Final Thoughts Filing for divorce without an attorney is very deliberative and proper preparation. Make full use of the resources at your disposal and know where to really pick your battles—whether for the more affordable legal help in preparing documents or mediators who will only have to hear from the two of you. The point always to keep in mind is not really the filing for divorce but the way it is filed so that your interests are protected, having enough scope for a fair settlement.




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