Filing Divorce Papers Online

Filing for a divorce is a tedious process. It requires the physical preparedness of the soon-to-be separated spouses to attend court hearings and other related proceedings as well as the great emotional turmoil it will bring. Fortunately, (or still not so fortunately for the affected parties, such as the children), there is now a new method to obtain divorce papers: filing divorce papers online is now the easier and less costly way to take care of all the divorce paperwork. With just a click and the knowledge of the proper procedures and websites to go to, couples can easily put a close to their marriage.

Filing Divorce Papers Online

The first thing to do is for the spouse initiating the divorce to prepare the required petition. It should be signed and notarize if required. The divorcing spouse should also be able to settle on how to divide the property and assets if no ante-nuptial agreements exist. The arrangements for the custody of the children, if there are, should also be agreed upon beforehand. After these first two basic requirements are consummated, it is time for the spouses to determine the eligibility of divorce in their respective state.

The residency requirement for divorce means that the spouses should have lived in the state for a certain amount of time, usually around three to six months. The next step then is to locate the state court’s website provided by the National Center for State Courts. If there is uncertainty on which website to select, look for a “court structure” link to review the Courts in your state and to see which Court can handle the divorce. Next, browse through the website to see if it offers e-filing or electronic filing. Review the website and look for information about the online preparation of divorce forms. The spouse initiating the divorce may look for either self-help or self-service link, an “e-filing” link to run a search for e-filing methods and procedures or perhaps the Family Court or Family Law section, if there is.

The next procedure is to follow the instructions in e-filing and online preparation of divorce forms provided by the website. Some of the requirements that the spouse may need to fill-out may be personal information such as the spouse’s name, current address, contact number, the names of the children if there are, their dates of their birth, and even their social security numbers.

Information about debts and assets may also be required. If the spouses come to an agreement on the issues, the terms of the agreement such as asset division, child custody, and support shall be disclosed. Now in case the state does not offer e-filing, the divorcing party should find an online divorce document preparation service provider which allows the completion of forms online and then provide a printable copy of all the forms and instructions. It will be best to do a comparison with all the service providers as the services may vary and they tend to charge fees. Find the one that is reasonable and easy.

Once the necessary divorce documents are prepared, it is time to file the forms with the Courthouse in the county where the parties live. The Court Clerk’s Office in the county where the divorce is filed may provide better assistance for all the requirements and the necessary fees. Take the forms and copies along with the filing fee to the Office.

After filing the documents, the other spouse should be given his own personal copies. This is important for the other spouse to be aware of the advancements of the proceeding and avoid misinformation. Sometimes, the divorce may transpire and achieve finality out of court especially when the two parties agree on all terms, but naturally, everything has to advance in court. There will be a need to attend hearings and that the divorcing parties may order for a schedule if no notice was sent. The preparation for the hearings is a whole new story altogether. There will be a need to prepare the necessary documents, the witnesses and the competent counsel to represent the spouse. Once everything is settled and the court renders the decision, which should likely be in favor of the separation, everything else rests upon the separated spouses.

The use of the internet in making transactions easier is extended even to the most delicate matters such as divorce. This time around, couples can finally terminate their relations in a less time-consuming manner, thanks to these all-new methods of filing divorce papers online.

What is an Uncontested Divorce

You gave it your best shot, smiled through the pain, and even God knows you tried to see the brighter side but still, here you are. Divorce is never easy on either party; from splitting assets to who gets custody plus the emotional trauma, it’s one hell of a ride. If you can scale all these amicably without having to visit the court, the divorce can become a little less thorny. But if you must go to court, you may want to consider getting an uncontested divorce.

What is an uncontested divorce?
Simply put, an uncontested divorce is one where both spouses unilaterally concur on all the issues concerning the divorce. All matters regarding property division, debt division, custodial responsibilities and support must first be settled before you can be eligible for an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

Another condition for eligibility is that you and your spouse must both agree to opt for an uncontested divorce. In case your partner doesn’t agree, you can still be eligible if you can somehow prevent them from appearing in court (don’t go getting any crazy ideas though). This divorce is usually granted when both parties decide not to provide an answer within the required timeframe after being served. If there is no answer within this period, then the divorce becomes uncontested. But just because a divorce is uncontested doesn’t mean it will run smoothly. It usually works best if both of you are financially independent of each other, and you don’t have so many fixed assets to divide.

What is an uncontested divorce and what can you benefit from an uncontested divorce?
Getting a divorce is not really beneficial. Many problems today can be traced to broken homes; but maybe that break is what you really need to begin living again, maybe the fresh start can give you a new perspective and open a new world of possibilities, either way, this is what you benefit from opting for an uncontested divorce:

1. Cost – Obviously, due to the ‘uncontested’ nature of this divorce, it is generally cheaper than the contested divorce. Normally, the cost of completing an uncontested divorce can just be limited to court filing fees. Even when you both hire lawyers for the process, fees can be minimal if you can settle without going through court proceedings. Divorce is difficult enough already, why should it also be a financial burden?
2. Time – With fewer proceedings, paperwork and legal jargon, you can get your divorce more quickly. The last thing you want after deciding to split with your partner is to keep seeing them time and time again. You just want to get it over with so you can move on with your life. Getting this type of divorce will save you valuable time.
3. Avoiding conflict – When you settle matters quickly with your spouse, there is a much lesser probability of conflict. Of course getting a divorce will always result in some form of conflict, but if you’re not meeting to iron out details for too long, chances of conflict are significantly lowered. You can’t fight when you’re not there.
4. Avoiding court stress – Typically, you can’t remain close friends with someone you took to the court. Where shared custody is agreed upon, you have to maintain a cordial relationship with your ex at least for the sake of the kids. But if you subject them to grueling court sessions and bitter arguments, guess who’s not going to be cordial with you? Also, court sessions require full disclosure, so it’s goodbye to all your marital secrets. All financial and personal information become public knowledge. You can choose to file under seal, but this process is often quite tedious. Best option? Avoid it altogether.
5. Avoiding Lawyers – If both of you can reach an agreement amicably on your own, then there may not be a need to hire a lawyer. Unless where the stakes are incredibly high, or there are tricky legal procedures, you can be granted your divorce without going to an attorney. Especially if your state laws provide a simple process that fits your situation. You only need to be sure you understand your legal rights and you don’t give them up unwittingly.

Conclusion
Settling for an uncontested divorce is becoming increasingly popular today. If you haven’t been married for too long and only a few assets to share, this is your surest bet. Who knows? Maybe in the course of trying to reach an agreement with your partner, you may begin to understand a lot more about each other and suspend the dreaded experience. Good luck!!!

What to Expect When Filing for a Protection Order

One of the most shameful acts that still persist in our society today is domestic or family violence. Generally, violence is severely frowned upon, but the prospect of causing physical harm, resulting in lasting damage to your own family or loved ones makes domestic violence more appalling. If you or someone you know is a current or potential victim of domestic violence, filing for a protection order could protect you from the dangers of being physically or even sexually harmed.

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is a court issued injunction designed to check domestic violence. The person whom you’re filing the protection order against must have committed or threatened to commit an act of domestic violence within the last year.

The filing process is quite straightforward. If you believe you’re a victim of family violence, you can simply submit a petition through an attorney to any court for the issuance of an order of protection. Usually, the application is filed in the region where you or the offender resides. After completing the formalities, you will be scheduled before a judge who will evaluate your petition and either approve or refuse the order.

Determining eligibility

Are you eligible for being granted a protection order? Well here’s what the law says: “If the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again, a court shall render a protective order. To obtain a protective order, the victim and the offender must be (1) related by blood or marriage, (2) living together, or previously lived together, or (3) have a child together’. If you meet one or all of these conditions then go ahead and file that petition.

Required information

You must provide these important details when filing for a protection order for your application to be considered:

  • The name(s) and current residential location of the applicant(s)
  • The name and current residential location of the offender
  • The existing relationship between the victim(s) and the offender
  • If other incidents of family violence have occurred

The victim should file as soon as the violence occurs. They may not survive the next one.

The Cost considerations
Thankfully, there is no longer a fee for filing against domestic violence offenders. But it is not completely free; you still have to make arrangements for attorney fees, serving fees, modification costs or any other required expense. These amounts may be overlooked in certain circumstances. After all, lack of money should not keep you from filing a petition if you feel you are in danger.

Nullifying a protection order 

Applications can be made to adjust the protection order or even dismiss it totally. In such instances, the procedure is governed by this clause: “The defendant may file a petition to request that the order be modified or dismissed. If your order of protection gives you exclusive right to your home, the hearing will be scheduled within five (5) court days of the defendant’s request. If you do not have an exclusive right to your home, the hearing will be scheduled within ten (10) court days. If you have a pending family law related action in Superior Court, the hearing will be held in Superior Court”. Usually your appointed attorney should worry about this on your behalf, let them handle it.

Filing for a Protection Order

The effectiveness of a protection order

A protective order not only prohibits an offender from committing further acts of family violence, it also protects you from direct or indirect threats, and may prohibit transfer or disposal of property. In certain situations, the protection order may also mandate the offender to participate in court approved counseling or vacate the premises of the victim.

Enforcing the order

Today, filing is done electronically so all approved protection orders are easily accessible to law enforcement agents. Federal law states that a valid protection order is enforceable anywhere in the U.S. Therefore, if an offender stalks you in another location, the police are obligated to uphold the protection order regardless. This includes identifying the protected person, the details regarding the offender, and other important details.

Violation of the order

The police are regularly updated with protection orders issued in their area and they often keep the list of such orders. If there is an order violation, they are notified about it. The agents can arrest the offender and file charges accordingly.

So remember, if you feel threatened or the person you filed against violates their order, alert the police immediately. Even if you are not qualified for a protection order, you may be able to have the person booked for stalking or trespassing with criminal intent. Also, learn to protect yourself physically; a protection order is a piece of paper, it will not shield you completely from all other forms of violence.

Smart Divorcing Couples Benefit from the Power of Divorce Mediation

A recent post on Ripley’s Believe it or Not features a resort and spa in Saratoga, New York, that offers a $5,000 weekend divorce package that enables couples to “check in married, and check out single.” While many people choose not to believe some of Ripley’s more unusual postings, the upstate New York “divorce hotel” is not a gag, but is truly the real deal. In fact, among the little extras the divorce package offers are to allow a television crew to videotape your proceedings for inclusion in an upcoming reality show.

Baring one’s life on a reality show might be some people’s idea of gaining their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame; but the social and economic costs of living such a dream would surely seem too ponderous once they appreciate the power of divorce mediation, and how it can chart out how one would live the remainder of one’s life.

Indeed, the dissolution of marriage is hardly an event to be trifled with, as it has ramifications on countless aspects of the divorcee’s life. This includes children, estate, career, and often even one’s over-all outlook and demeanor. When two people have been entwined in each other’s lives for a substantial amount of time, disentangling oneself from the other is not as straightforward as canceling a contract.

It is hardly ever possible to simply part ways, and “have nothing to do with each other” when there are numerous issues to be discussed, negotiated, and agreed upon. The aforementioned divorce hotel surely does include some sessions of mediation between the golf, swimming, hiking, tennis, and spa sessions, but the power of divorce mediation surely demands a great deal of time. In fact, professional mediation agencies typically recommend ten two-hour sessions with both parties present to settle everything satisfactorily.

Divorcing couples who believe they can simply “settle things like adults” are precisely the ones who become involved in angry altercations in the future when one or the other partners fails to abide by conditions agreed upon. These range from doing their share in parenting activities like attending ball games and assisting in education, to more mundane issues like financial support.

Formal mediation sessions are not limited to division of spoils and responsibilities. Mediators endeavor to understand the situation, needs, and capabilities of each party and design the best possible arrangement that would be mutually beneficial and acceptable to all, including their children. This is a lot more complicated than one might initially believe, and certainly requires highly qualified professionals to conduct such mediation sessions. One additional advantage of subjecting oneself to mediation is to add a legal touch to the commitments agreed upon by the divorcing partners.

Contrary to what one may gather from movies and, yes, even from reality television shows, mediation is not that hostile, all-out greedy, and adversarial process that showbiz wants to project. Rather, the power of divorce mediation and a professional facilitator lies in the ability to foster a process that is constructive and mutually beneficial, without actually dictating on the two parties what course of action they believe is best.

mediation

In some fashion, mediation is a valuable process that focuses less on the break-up and the unpleasantness of the past, and enables the divorcees to move on with their lives, albeit apart from each other. The process helps establish the manner and means by which the divorcees deal with and communicate with each other and with their children, and how to address any crises that may arise in the future. The formal and unimpassioned negotiation and agreement process also enables the children to accept and deal with the separation of their parents, diminishing the trauma associated with the dissolution of any family.

The expertise and the power of divorce mediation experts are valuable in situations where there is an element of dominance or bullying by one partner over another, often being the precipitating issue for the divorce. Facilitators do not proceed with the mediation process in which parties are clearly in positions of strength or weakness in the face of the other. Oftentimes, this dominance is exacerbated with instances of physical violence. Instead, the facilitator strives to correct the power imbalances through various techniques before attempting to conduct mediation of their divorce arrangements.

Naturally, divorce mediation, being a professional service entails a proper professional fee for the facilitator and the organization. Such expenses are, more often than not, only an insignificant fraction of what it would otherwise cost divorced parties in litigation expenses for divorces that turn sour in the future when one partner fails to abide with agreements. It is, thus, advisable for smart divorcing couples to avail of such services, rather than giving reality TV shows more juicy material about conflict between former spouses.