LegalAce can take the headache out of preparing your divorce documents.
Getting married is easy. Getting divorced is not. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional turmoil that accompanies the end of a relationship, figure out how you're going to split up your property, and deal with child issues, but you also have to either become an expert in the legal system or pay a fortune to an attorney. Lawyers are aware of how seemingly overwhelming it can be for the average person to get a divorce and have made millions capitalizing on it.
Now, with the help of Legal Ace and its patent pending process, most people with uncontested matters can easily obtain a divorce without having to pay an arm and a leg to an attorney and often without even having to appear before a judge.
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All About Divorce
LegalACE education center provides you with the information and resources you need when
considering a Divorce. The Divorce Guide provides general information about Divorce , and the FAQs answer some of the most common questions people ask. This information
allows you to make informed decisions.
LegalACE understands that the decision to get a divorce can be very emotional for any family. If you find that you are facing the breakup of your marriage, first let us say that we're sorry.
Here at LegalACE, our goal is to help make the divorce process as smooth as possible for you. That's why we offer legal document preparation services to those seeking uncontested divorces (whether there are children of the marriage or not). By using our services we can help by:
Greatly reducing the cost of your divorce;
Allowing you to access the paperwork online from the comfort and privacy of your home;
Providing you peace of mind that all your documents are processed completely and accurately according to your state's specific divorce rules;
and by Eliminating the need to hire an attorney.
All you need to do is answer the questions in our comprehensive divorce survey, and we will process all the paperwork based on the information that you provide.
Most of the questions are straightforward about things that you already have the answers to, such as your name, address, date of marriage, etc. Therefore, you don't have to have any legal expertise to complete the survey. But, if you find that you are unsure about any of the requested information, LegalACE provides helpful definitions and links to information that will help guide you as you work your way through.
An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse have reached an agreement on each of the issues identified below and, generally, where neither of you are represented by an attorney.
While reaching an agreement on the details of each of these issues may take some careful discussion, once an agreement is reached, you will both save time, money and frustration. Another benefit of agreement is that many state courts allow you to move through the divorce process much more quickly because you won't have to argue your case in front of a judge.
In an uncontested divorce, the first thing that you must agree on is that you BOTH wish to move forward with the divorce. In addition to agreeing to move forward with the divorce filing, you must both agree on the terms of the following main issues:
In all cases, you must agree on:
Division of Assets
Division of Debt
Alimony (Spousal Support) - even in the agreement is that neither spouse will pay alimony to the other
In Cases where you and your spouse have minor children, you must also agree on:
The main difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that, unlike divorce, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage. This means that both parties are still LEGALLY married at the end of a legal separation and are not free to remarry as with a divorce.
Similar to a divorce, at the end of a legal separation, you get a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. However, you remain legally married while choosing to live separate lives. Issues that can be addressed through a legal separation are the division of assets and debts, the issue of spousal support, and when there are children of the marriage, child custody, visitation and support.
The same issues addressed during the divorce process are also addressed through a legal separation. A legal separation can protect your interests while you are deciding whether to file for divorce. Your Separation Agreement can set precedence for the divorce that may follow. If you decide to convert your legal separation to a divorce proceeding, any agreements made through the legal separation process should carry over to the divorce.
Although a legal separation and divorce have many things in common, listed below are some considerations for obtaining a legal separation:
It allows couples time apart, away from the conflict of the marriage, while deciding if divorce is ultimately what they want.
It allows for the retention of medical benefits and the right to spousal military and/or social security benefits that could cease through a divorce decree.
If religious beliefs conflict with the idea of divorce, couples may live separately and while retaining your marital status for religious beliefs.
If the decision to divorce is made, the legal separation agreement can be converted into a divorce settlement agreement.
AFTER CONSIDERING YOUR OPTIONS, IF YOU FEEL THAT A LEGAL SEPARATION IS RIGHT FOR YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES, LEGALACE'S CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS CAN PROCESS YOUR LEGAL SEPARATION DOCUMENTS.
State laws may vary widely when it comes to divorce. Here are just a couple examples of those differences:
Some states still require that one spouse to prove grounds for the divorce by providing the court with your state's legally acceptable reason for the breakdown of the marriage (such as infidelity, for example). States that require this type of proof are called "at fault" states.
However, most states today view the cause for the divorce as legally irrelevant, and therefore, do not require this type of proof. These states are called "no fault" states.
LEGALACE CAN STILL HANDLE YOUR DIVORCE PAPERWORK EVEN IF YOU LIVE IN AN "AT FAULT" STATE, AS LONG AS YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE AGREE THAT YOU BOTH WANT THE DIVORCE.
Each state and jurisdiction has a unique set of circumstances - or grounds - under which a divorce may be granted by the court. When you file your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce), you will be asked to declare grounds, and the judge in your jurisdiction will need to hear that one of your state's acceptable grounds has been met.
"No Fault" Examples:
Both husband and wife agree that they want a divorce
The Marriage is Irretrievably broken
"At Fault" Examples:
Drug or alcohol addiction
Physical or mental abuse
NOTE: These examples are for reference only and are not meant as an exhaustive list
SERVICE OF THE DIVORCE PAPERWORK WHEN YOU CAN'T LOCATE YOUR SPOUSE:
When you are unable to locate your spouse, some states may still grant your divorce, but may first require you to "serve" your spouse by "publication" through posting a legal notice in a local newspaper.
EVEN THOUGH EACH STATE'S LAWS MAY DIFFER, YOU CAN REST ASSURED THAT LEGALACE ADDRESSES EACH OF THESE DIFFERENCES THROUGH ITS ONLINE SURVEYS THAT ARE ADAPTED TO MEET EACH STATE'S SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS.
Once you have decided to move forward with an uncontested divorce (or uncontested legal separation) and have determined that LegalACE can assist you, the following information will be helpful to begin the LegalACE Divorce Survey:
LegalACE can help with the preparation of your uncontested divorce or legal separation documents.
Just click the "Create Account" link at the top of this page to get started or give us a call Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm MST at (888) 939-6875 and one of our certified professionals will be happy to walk you through the survey.
In order for a divorce to be truly "uncontested" the parties must agree on the following three issues:
1.) division of assets;
2.) division of debt; and
3.) the issue of alimony.
If there are minor children, that were born of this union, there are three additional issues to be agreed upon:
2) visitation; and
3) child support.
In an uncontested divorce you and your spouse must agree how the property will be divided. This is typically accomplished through a Marital Separation Agreement (MSA). When evaluating your MSA, the court will decide whether the division of the property is fair. If either you or your spouse contest the division of any piece of real or personal property your divorce will become contested.
Principally, child support, visitation, and custody must be agreed upon by both spouses in an uncontested divorce. Most states provide standardized guidelines which you may wish to follow in making these decisions. Ultimately, once an agreement is reached between the spouses, the court will decide whether the agreement is equitable in light of your circumstances.
Generally, yes. Unless the person to whom the debt was owed (your creditor) was a party to the case, you will still be responsible for ensuring that the payments are made to the creditor. If you pay the debt because your spouse isn't paying, you can demand and/or sue for reimbursement for the payments from your spouse.
Depending on the jurisdiction, you may not have to go to court. Nevertheless, some courts may require a formal or informal hearing in order to resolve any issues arising from the separation agreement between you and your spouse.
When you and your spouse file a joint or co-petitioner agreement, you are showing the court that you both agree to all the provisions of the divorce. Therefore, a default judgment will not be entered since both spouses are spoken for. On the other hand, if you serve your spouse and they choose not to reply, a default judgment may be granted if requested after 21 days. By not replying to your complaint, your spouse may be passively indicating that he/she agrees with the terms of the divorce. Thus, since your spouse doesn't file any papers with the court the judgment is considered default.
The other option for an uncontested case is that after the petitioner files the initial court forms, the spouse receiving the forms files documents agreeing with the divorce. The court will review the submissions and if everything is in order the divorce may be granted.
Though these two processes may sound similar, and the result is generally the same, there can be a few important differences.
Advantages of orders by agreement: The responding spouse has a say in what is ordered. Some jurisdictions will waive the waiting period that spouses must wait before the divorce is granted. Some jurisdictions will waive the requirement that you must appear in court before the judge. Generally, judges are less likely to deny terms in a divorce where spouses agree than one in which only one spouse is requesting the order.
Disadvantages of orders by agreement: Most jurisdictions will charge an additional filing fee, thus, often doubling the cost of the divorce.
Advantages of default orders: Only one spouse has to do anything. Generally, the couple needs to pay only one court filing fee.
Disadvantages of default orders: Most jurisdictions will require that the petitioner appear in court. The respondent does not technically have any say about what is in the order.
Since the rules for each state vary, you should check with your court before making a decision. Some of the considerations above may not apply in your state.
In an uncontested divorce spouses must agree to the child support terms. If you and your spouse are having difficulty computing costs, most states provide standardized child support guidelines. Further, depending on the jurisdiction, the court may assist you in determining these figures or require you to compute and explain your figures in the separation agreement. Alternatively, spouses may waive their right to child support in certain circumstances.
Most courts expect that the child support guidelines be used. Judges usually have the authority to order a different amount in child support than what the formula dictates, but only if the judge is presented with a good reason for the deviation.
Generally courts want to see that residency requirements are met, the waiting period has passed, there are sufficient legal grounds for the divorce, both spouses are being treated fairly with regards to property, debt, child support and child visitation rights, and that the best interests of any children are being served.
You are not necessarily required to pay your spouse alimony. However, alimony might be issued if one spouse will face a significant hardship as a result of divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree to the amount of alimony one spouse will pay to the other.
Legislatures generally draft waiting periods in order to discourage divorce. By imposing this requirement, legislatures hope that a couple might reconcile or reconsider filing for divorce. Depending on your jurisdiction, the waiting period may not be mandatory or it may be waived by consenting spouses.
LegalACE is not an attorney and is not permitted to offer legal advice or otherwise act as an attorney.
Legal Ace is a document preparation service. Legal Ace should not be considered a substitute for the
advice of an attorney. See the full disclaimer for more details.