Do-it-Yourself Divorce

Using this approach, spouses sit down at the “kitchen table” and work out an arrangement that satisfies each of them.  The agreement can be taken to a lawyer to be put into legal form, or can be used to complete do-it-yourself divorce forms.

Bookstores and on-line resources sell forms that can be used to handle a divorce without attorneys. Forms may also be available at local law libraries.

Positives:  Divorce “kits” generally provide a check-list approach to divorce and child-related issues, so users are not left completely in the dark about their options. These may be fine for people with no children, or those who lack substantial assets.

Negatives: If the husband and wife do not have equal information or equal power in their relationship, one person might unknowingly suffer the consequences of failing to seek legal advice.  If the spouses then choose to try and reduce their agreement to a pre-fab “form,” they may find that not all forms are created equal.  Some can create more problems than they solve. When children and real estate or other major assets are involved, forms may not be detailed enough to do what the couple is trying to accomplish. Check-lists also leave little room for creativity. And there is no guarantee that a Judge will accept “forms” in cases involving children.