DIY Divorce

by Steve Harton

DIY Divorce in Wyoming is suitable for people who want to do an uncontested divorce without the help of a lawyer.  You can save time and lots of money when you do your divorce without a lawyer.  The process is not complicated, but it is still not easy.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Before starting your DIY divorce in Wyoming, you should make sure that you really do have an uncontested divorce.  Ask yourself the following questions:

•    Do you and your spouse both want the divorce?
•    Have you and spouse agreed on who should be awarded the divorce, that is who “gets” the divorce from the other?
•    Have you agreed on who is going to pay for the filing fee?
•    Have you decided who is going to fill out the paperwork, and file it with the Court?
•    Have you already split up your money?
•    Have you divided your things, like cars, furniture, etc.?
•    Have you either paid off, or refinanced, all of your joint debt, so that you do not have any joint obligations such as mortgages, car loans, or credit cards?
•    If you have children together, are they all adults?

If you answered yes to all (or nearly all) of those questions, then you should be able to pull off a DIY divorce.  If you answered no to some of them, then you should seriously consider hiring a Wyoming divorce lawyer.  You could still try to do the divorce yourself, but you are much more likely to make a mistake that could cost you more time, and much more money, than hiring a lawyer.

Tools to help you get a divorce without a lawyer

Once you have decided to try to do your own divorce, there are a number of tools that can help you through the process.  You can read about divorce so that you can understand the process.  You can use divorce forms provided by the Courts, or you can purchase forms from various companies on the internet.

Books on Divorce

There are dozens of books on divorce, but many of them focus on how to deal with the aftermath of this life changing event.  In order to prepare you for a DIY divorce, you should probably read at least one of the following books:

DIY Divorce in WyomingNolo's Essential Guide to Divorce
 – This book will give you a pretty comprehensive overview of the entire divorce process in simple to understand language.  If you are not sure you are ready for a DIY divorce, this book will show you some of the other alternatives as well.  So even if you decide not to go it alone, you will be more knowledgeable, and better prepared, if you go looking for a divorce lawyer.

Divorce for Dummies – This book also covers the entire divorce process, but is not really focused on trying to do it yourself.  However, if you have read, and liked, books from the “for Dummies” series, then you should definitely consider it.

Free Divorce Forms from the Courts

Many states, including Wyoming, have recognized the need to provide some assistance to people who want to get a DIY divorce.  There are lots of people who need a divorce, but simply cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  There are also lots of people who like to get a divorce without a lawyer, because they feel like to save the money they would spend on an attorney.

You can buy a set of DIY Divorce forms at the Clerk of District Court for $15.00.  In addition, you can access the forms, and the instructions, on line.  These forms are very comprehensive, and cover every conceivable situation that could arise for every person seeking a divorce in Wyoming.  Unfortunately, their comprehensiveness is also their weakness.

The free forms and instructions come as a stack of paper over an inch thick.  This overwhelms many people, and they give up before even trying.  Furthermore, these forms do not come with any “customer service.” The Clerks are prohibited from helping you complete the forms, and there are few people, other than Wyoming divorce lawyers, who can show you how to fill out divorce papers properly.

Nonetheless, if you are patient, and if you are willing to read, and re-read, the instructions carefully, then you should be able to complete a simple divorce using the court forms.

Online Divorce Papers

There are several companies that provide online divorce papers.  The primary benefit of using the forms provided by these companies is that, unlike the free forms provided by the Courts, they come with some level of customer service.  Furthermore, you can buy forms tailored to your specific situation, as opposed to receiving a big bundle of divorce papers that cover the needs of all people who might wish to use them.

Here is a list of some online divorce form providers:

Nolo sells an Online Divorce kit.  This is provided to Nolo by LegalZoom.  However, if you know and trust the Nolo brand, then you should consider purchasing through them.  This package will show you how to divide your property, handle issues concerning children, and to finalize your divorce.

Legal Zoom – With a tagline of End your marriage quickly and amicably – without a pricey attorney, its no wonder that Legal Zoom has delivered thousands of forms already.

US Legal forms

Rocket Lawyer

Additional resources for people who would like a DIY Divorce

You can also purchase programs that lead you through the many steps, and that generate the forms from information that you enter through your computer.

Finally, there are attorneys that provide what are called “unbundled legal services,” where they will review the forms that you prepare, and can also coach you through the proceeding.

Is DIY Divorce for you?

As you see, there are a number of resources available to help your if you would like to do your divorce without a lawyer.  Reading a book about divorce would be helpful, even if you end up hiring a lawyer.  However, if you are serious about do it yourself divorce, you should download the free divorce forms from the Wyoming Supreme Court (or buy them from the Clerk).  Those forms (and their instructions) will still  be very helpful, even if you decide to buy online divorce papers, or if you decide to hire a Wyoming divorce lawyer.

By Steve Harton