There are several advantages to divorcing without a lawyer and nowadays, many sources of help with do it yourself divorces. As a result, many people opt to divorce without a lawyer and the first thing most need to know is, Where can I get do it yourself divorce forms?

There are many places where you can get do-it-yourself divorce forms, legally known as “per se” divorce forms. They are available online and off, free and paid, and in a variety of formats.

Here are the main options with some quick pros and cons. You can:

  • Get free divorce forms online – forms to download, print out and fill-in-the-blanks the old-fashioned way. Free divorce forms typically do not include any assistance on choosing or completing the right forms.
  • Get paid-for do-it-yourself divorce forms online, often called “divorce kits.” These are usually bundled with practical (non-legal) instructions to help you complete the forms.
  • Get higher-end paid-for divorce forms online, provided in digital format so that you can complete and edit the forms on screen, save on your computer and print when you like. These can cost up to a few hundred dollars and often (but not always) provide helpful instructions too. The biggest benefit is the ability to easily edit and save your divorce forms until you get them right. They are also a more private option because the forms are stored on your computer.
  • Get free divorce forms from your State, district or county court house. Divorce forms from your Courthouse are free. Many people are unaware of this, confusing the court’s filing fee (paid when you file for divorce) with a fee for the forms themselves. The forms themselves are free of charge. You can:
    • Get the divorce forms in person at the court house or by mail.
    • Download, save and print them from your State Court website.

When searching for do-it-yourself divorce forms online, narrow your search by including your State or County name.

Bear in mind that wherever you get your divorce forms, the actual forms will be the same. Divorce forms are standard legal documents, not open to improvement or alteration of any kind. This means one source’s do-it-yourself divorce forms cannot be “better” than another’s. Instead, the deciding factor on where you get your forms will be the appeal of any extras offered, such as guidance notes, digital format and so on.

That said, there is one possible difference – some forms may be outdated. Make sure you are get the latest versions, particularly if the divorce forms are free – one of three quick tips to make sure you get the right divorce forms for your do-it-yourself divorce.

Copyright 2009 Caroline Mackenzie
for DealWithDivorce.com

Filed under: Do It Yourself Divorce

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