Dissolving Your Marriage With Grace
When most people enter into a marriage, they likely expect it to last forever, so it can be disheartening when things go wrong. A long-lasting marriage takes more than just love and roses, though. It is hard work, compromise and commitment — but there are situations where spouses can no longer remain married.
Maintaining your sanity and respecting the humanity of your spouse might require ending the marriage, but it can still be a very difficult and emotional journey.
Handling the Emotions in a Divorce
Marriage is an emotional and physical union as well as a financial and legal one. Usually, the first break in the marriage is emotional. It is hard to accept that you look at someone differently than you used to, and your relationship may be forever changed.
People in very close relationships often can also hurt one another more intensely than other people could, and reactions to emotional pain can escalate quickly. As long as there are emotional triggers in play, handling the legal and financial parts of the divorce will be difficult.
Marriage counseling is the cliché suggestion to any couple struggling with their marriage, and many people avoid it because they do not want to fix the marriage. What they don’t realize is that marriage counseling can also help you end a marriage if that is the agreed upon outcome. Getting some professional help to handle emotional issues is always advisable.
Call in the Legal Sharks
You hear a lot of divorce stories, and some are certainly worse than others. People drag each other through the mud, put their children in impossible situations and steal from each other on the way out the door. The divorce lawyers get a lot of the blame for all of the bad behavior during divorce proceedings. It can be an ugly time in a person’s life.
Divorce does not have to be ugly, though. When it is the decision between two consenting adults, a divorce can be accomplished without all the drama. It is even possible to save the legal fees and dissolve your marriage without an expensive divorce lawyer.
A non-contentious divorce begins with some boilerplate divorce forms and a little knowledge of the divorce process in your state. Most states will recognize a divorce filed directly with the court by one of the parties instead of an attorney. In some states, it is even possible to file your divorce online.
Here are the steps to dissolving your marriage without an attorney:
- Obtain the divorce forms – These are available online. Start by checking your state’s website for divorce information. If they do not offer the forms, you can get them inexpensively from any office supply company.
- Research the divorce laws in your state – Divorce is legal in all 50 states, but the terms are slightly different. Your state may require a separation period based on the grounds you site for divorce.
- Execute a Separation Agreement – If required by your state, a separation agreement should be filed first. That will start the time running for what some states call a “cooling off” period.
- Complete the divorce papers – This is where you and your spouse will make your intensions known to the court. You will have some decisions to make, and signing these papers commits you to following through on your decisions.
- File your divorce with the court – All forms that are filed with the court need to be signed and notarized. Consult your county clerk to be sure you are filing your divorce in the right place. There will be a filing fee.
It is a good idea to confirm this whole process with your county clerk before you begin. To be binding, your divorce needs to be filed with the appropriate court. Always keep copies of the papers you file with the court. When the divorce is final, you will receive a signed decree from the judge.
Making Your Divorce Legal
The divorce proceeding requires you and your spouse to make a number of decisions about how to legally dissolve your union, divide assets, share debt and raise your children. The forms in the divorce papers may include:
- Summons and petition
- Child support worksheet
- Financial statement
- Non-military disclosure
- Notice of hearing
- Divorce judgment
The divorce process will be smoother if you and your spouse can agree on the terms. If the divorce is amicable, there is often no need for attorneys or even a court appearance. Even if both parties do not want the divorce, if you can come to an agreement as to how to proceed, a lot of arguing and resentment can be avoided — in addition to legal costs.
Even without much legal knowledge, anyone can execute a do-it-yourself divorce. Each form should include some instructions about how to fill in out. You will only use the forms that pertain to your situation, so if you do not have children, the support worksheet is not needed.
All of the forms you file will require a notary. To keep things moving smoothly in your graceful divorce, it is a good idea to schedule a mobile notary. When your forms are complete, and you and your spouse are ready to sign, you do not want any delays.
With Superior Notary, you can schedule a mobile notary to come to your office, your home or meet you at the library or other public place. Once the papers are signed and notarized, you will have one of the most difficult parts of your divorce completed. Call us or use our online contact form to schedule your notary appointment.