As you probably already know, starting your own divorce without the assistance of a lawyer can help you save a great deal of money (we’re talking thousands here), and even though there’s a series of clear steps you should follow, there are some common mistakes that people often make while doing their own divorce process which can slow it down or even halt it.
But don’t worry, we are here to tell you the three biggest mistakes people make to help you be better prepared when starting your divorce.
1.- Not submitting the required legal forms.
To file for divorce you need to present the appropriate legal forms to the court’s clerk. These forms should match your current situation; for example, if you have underage children you will have to present forms with your children’s information. If for some reason, one of the documents is missing from your submission, the court will deny your request, the divorce process won’t commence and you’ll have to file another time. Which takes us to our common mistake number two…
2.- Filling out your forms incorrectly.
This is one of the most common mistakes and certainly the most dangerous. You could have submitted all the required forms for your process, but if you marked the wrong box or didn’t answer clearly or honestly in one of them, the court could dismiss your application. Worst of all is that the dismissal could come months after the process has started and all the work you’ve done would go to waste since you would have to start all over again. In addition, if you don’t answer completely, correctly or you forget to enlist a property or debt, the court can determine that you were lying and sanction you, which could mean that your unlisted property could end up in your spouse’s hands.
3.- Not “serving” your spouse correctly.
Once the court has approved your divorce petition, it’s necessary that your spouse is served – gets the divorcepapers personally delivered to him or her. You cannot serve your spouse yourself; you need the assistance of someone older than 18 years, which could be a friend, a coworker, a family member or a professional process server, to perform this part of the process for you. The person serving the documents must follow a standard procedure; if he doesn’t notify your spouse about what documents he or she is receiving, forgets to deliver one of the documents or ends up serving the wrong person, the divorce process could get delayed or even dismissed. Finally, it’s necessary that a declaration of service be presented to the court, so that the court is aware of the service and begins the 30 official days that your partner has to respond to the divorce petition.
As you see, these 3 mistakes are the ones that in most occasions end up slowing or canceling a divorce petition. This is why we developed Your Legal Key, to help you select the required forms for your specific case and to fill them out correctly so that the court will accept them, without any errors or mistakes. For your peace of mind, we also include detailed instructions on how to submit your documents and provide the contact of certified process servers that can take care of that part of the process for you.
If you want to begin your divorce process, you can start it online here: Family Law Qualifier We guarantee that your legal forms will be accepted by the court.