So it's official - you're getting a divorce. 

Maybe you don’t have to hire a divorce lawyer!I've been there so I can attest that it's certainly one of the more stressful situations you will face in life.

A lot of the stress comes from selecting the right divorce lawyer and the finances associated with a potential lawyer.

However, if your situation is anything like mine, you may be able to self-represent your case. It's not as difficult as it sounds once you understand the right steps to take, and it can save you a ton of cash.

Let's explore the reasons why I felt safe self-representing my case, and perhaps you will be able to do the same.

  • My ex and I were still communicating in a healthy way. I know, I know, this sounds like a complete miracle, but I'm living proof that it can happen and it helped tremendously when navigating the divorce proceedings. There really were no hard feelings when we decided to split; therefore we were able to clearly communicate our logistical needs throughout the process. When it came time to divide the furniture etc, we sat at the kitchen table and made a list of everything we owned together and discussed who was getting what items. Don't get me wrong, I do miss my coffee table, but I got the silverware so it seemed like a fair compromise.
  • No children. We had a short marriage, only 2 years so kids did not enter the picture. This certainly made things easier when we separated, as there was no custody battle or discussion about child support.
  • We made about the same amount of money. When I got married, it was nice to combine incomes, especially since he was such a savvy spender. But when we split, because our salaries were comparable, there wasn't much of a "shock" in terms of disposable income. I knew I was able to stand on my own two feet; therefore I had no need to look into alimony. I do miss his ability to save and pay the credit card bill off each month, so I've had to learn to budget on my own, but that's a whole other story!
  • No past legal troubles or domestic abuse. Neither of us had any past legal troubles, nor was there any domestic abuse in the marriage. Furthermore, neither one of us threatened to abandon the other. Anytime these types of situations occur and you are leading towards divorce, you would certainly need to engage a lawyer. Thankfully, we kept it drama-free, but not everyone is that lucky.

If you believe that you can self-represent your case, you will need to visit your respective state government website to download the necessary forms and understand the steps you will need to take.  

It did seen confusing at the beginning, but after a few phone calls to the government office, talking to others who had done it themselves, and some extensive reading online, it ended up being quite simple.

I truly believe that I was fortunate with my situation. By avoiding the divorce lawyer, I was able to keep my savings somewhat in-tact and move on financially. A divorce lawyer is simply not something that most of us plan for, so the cost could be quite a surprise for your budget.

Obviously, if you're situation is more complicated than mine, then it might make sense to hire a lawyer.  Be sure to take the right steps in finding a lawyer that makes financial sense for you.

Related Posts: 

 Finding a good divorce lawyer, your finances may thank you!

Staying Together for your Finances

Jenny NortonJenny Norton

Jennifer is an employee of CareOne Debt Relief Services in the Marketing department. She understands what it's like to go through a divorce and start all over on your own. She's learned how to create and manage her own budget the hard way. Jen has realized that the only person that is going to take care of you is you and shares thoughts and ideas for taking control over your finances and getting back on your feet. 

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