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There are four different ways to divorce, and the cost and time varies with each one. The first is using an attorney to negotiate your divorce; second is using a mediator; third is a collaborative divorce; and the fourth, and very common, way to divorce is self-representation (divorce without lawyers).
Filing your own divorce is most often the least expensive and the most expedient way to end a marriage. Self-representation works particularly well for those who are in agreement, or at the very least can come to an agreement on all issues involved. This is what is commonly referred to as an uncontested divorce, which is the easiest type of divorce to file.
The right of self-representation is long established in American law and the growth of filing your own divorce without a lawyer is undeniable. Many courts through out the U.S. are seeing 50% of divorce filings being submitted without a lawyer.
Obtaining a divorce without lawyers requires a little work and the cooperation of both spouses. Choosing to "do-it-yourself" works best when both spouses can keep their emotions in control because when you file your own divorce, is not about getting even, but rather getting it done with minimal expense and drama.
6 Advantages to Filing A Divorce Without a Lawyer
1. The Cost: The main reason most people prepare their own divorce papers and file their own divorce is eliminate the added expense of hiring a lawyer. According to one source, the average cost of contested divorce in the United States is $15,000. Even a simple uncontested divorce with legal representation can easily cost $1,500 to $2,000. By comparison, a divorce without lawyers can be had for under $300, plus court filing fees.
2. More Control: When choosing to represent yourself in a divorce you have a greater sense of control over the filing process. Spouses who are able to work together and come to an agreement about the terms and conditions can benefit, because they know the circumstances of their marriage better than anyone else. The outcome is well managed as well as the timeline of the filing process.
3. Save Time: When doing your own divorce, you eliminate all lengthy delivery periods for paperwork and office visits to a lawyer. As mentioned above, choosing to do your own divorce provides control, so you can prepare your documents and process your divorce through the courts at your own pace. The waiting game is over.
4. Limited Dissatisfaction: A divorce leaves many people with a lasting contempt for lawyers. An ABA Legal Needs Study showed that 45 percent of self- filers believe that lawyers often promote their own self-interest rather than working toward their client's best interest. This also means the lawyer makes more money the more times he or she reviews the case or talks to you on the telephone.
5. More Private and Confidential: Filing your own divorce allows you to work directly with the Clerk of the Court. You do not have to provide any personal information to a third party to complete your papers for you. You also eliminate the need to discuss your personal issues with a lawyer and paralegals at in-office visits, which can often become rather uncomfortable.
6. The Online Divorce: The most popular ways to do your own divorce without a lawyer is with an online divorce provider like, 3StepDivorceTM. Online divorce is simple. It requires answering an online questionnaire that provides all the information required in your filing jurisdiction to help you prepare your own divorce papers and marital settlement agreement. 3StepDivorceTM returns the divorce papers instantly online and/or by priority mail. To finalize the divorce process, the filing spouse submits the papers to his or her local court according to the step-by-step filing procedures provides with the completed divorce documentation.
3StepDivorceTM also takes the guesswork out of the process. The software and service is set up to make preparing your own paperwork easy - saving you a lot of time, stress, and unnecessary legal fees.