Are you planning to file for divorce? If so, there are a few facts that you should know before rushing down to the courthouse to file your petition. Taking the time to review these facts can help to ensure that you file the appropriate petition and that you do not experience any unnecessary delays in your court proceedings.
Fact #1: A Simplified Divorce Is Not the Same as a No-Fault or Uncontested Divorce
Many states now offer divorcing couples an option known as "simplified divorce." The purpose of this option is to allow individuals to streamline the process of finalizing their divorce. The only problem is, many people confuse this option with a no-fault or uncontested divorce and therefore attempt to file the wrong type of petition with the court.
A no-fault divorce simply means that both spouses agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken and that this is the reason for their divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree not to challenge the need for a divorce. A simplified divorce, on the other hand, is a divorce in which both spouses agree upon everything. This includes the need for a divorce, the reason for the divorce, and the way their marital assets and debts will be divided.
Another important fact to note is that simplified divorces are only available to couples without any children together, as this type of divorce will not address issues of child custody or support.
Fact #2: You May Be Able to Have Court Fees Waived
Far too many people put off filing their divorce petition with the court because they do not have the financial resources to pay the filing fees. If you have found yourself in this position, you should know that it may be possible to have these fees reduced or waived all together.
In order to have your court fees waived, you will need to file a hardship petition at the same time you file your divorce petition. This hardship petition will ask you for information regarding your current financial responsibilities, as well as your current income. If your petition is approved by the court, you will be assigned a court date for your divorce case without the need to pay any fees.
Fact #3: A Divorce Lawyer and a Divorce Paralegal Are Not the Same
Nowadays, there are many legal professionals known as divorce paralegals offering assistance with uncontested divorce cases, often at a relatively low price. Consequently, many people are choosing to use these services rather than hire a divorce lawyer.
If you are considering using the services of a paralegal, you should know that these legal professionals cannot offer you the same services as a divorce lawyer. This is because the law prevents paralegals from offering you legal advice or representing you in a court of law. These are services that can only be provided by a qualified divorce lawyer.
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