In order to obtain a divorce, a lawyer is not always required. Pro Se (a Latin term meaning “his or her own”) divorce litigation means you are representing yourself in your divorce case without an attorney.
A do-it-yourself divorce is not always the wisest decision, but it is an option of money for an attorney is a concern, and if your divorce isn’t complicated.
The procedures in Pro Se divorce are the same as if you had hired a lawyer, except you will be responsible for filing and filling out all of the legal forms. It is important to discuss the option for Pro Se divorce with your spouse. If you both agree on the conditions of your divorce, then filing your own papers is an option. If you cannot agree, however, you should seek the assistance of a Phoenix family law attorney to legally protect yourself in the proceeding. You also have the option of hiring a lawyer solely for looking at the paperwork to make sure it is all correct and legal.
If the following are true, you may qualify for a Pro Se divorce:
- You haven’t been married more than a few years.
- You have no children for which you have to work out custody, visitation and child support.
- You and your spouse do not have a lot of money, community property or shared debt to divide.
- You do not suspect your spouse is hiding any financial assets and you’re not filing for bankruptcy.
- Neither spouse is in the U.S. military.
- You are able to support yourself after the divorce.
In Arizona, a divorce is started when one party files a legal document titled a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with (or without) Children. Numerous other documents must be filed with this petition, including a Summon, various notices to the other party regarding creditors, health insurance, and parenting classes if applicable. In Arizona, the filing fee for the Petition is $236.00 to file and begin the divorce process. The other party will have to file a response fee if they file a response.
The Petition must state certain facts that are required for the court to determine if it has jurisdiction over the parties and for the court to grant the divorce, followed by any necessary orders regarding any children involved.
Every person has the right to be a Pro Se litigant, but the divorce process can be complex and very stressful. If you are choosing to represent yourself, it is very important to become familiar with your state divorce laws, the current version of your state’s Rules of Civil Procedure, the Family Court Codes and the rules that apply to you by your local county court. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Glendale at The Sampair Group today to learn more about the Pro Se divorce process and how to successfully represent yourself while staying legally protected.