Help me find the forms to file for divorce.
January 8, 2008 8:10 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to get a divorce without a lawyer?

There is no common property, no disputes. All we need to do is file papers to legally detangle ourselves from each other. I've found a lot of "Quick and Easy Divorce! Three Easy Payments of $19.95!" offers online, but no actual information about what forms I need, or where to find them.

In essence, that's what I'm asking: What forms do I need, and where do I find them? If I do need to get a "kit," which ones aren't a total rip-off?

(The ex and I live in Rhode Island.)
posted by grapefruitmoon to Law & Government (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might be able to get the forms for free at your local courthouse.
posted by dcjd at 8:14 AM on January 8, 2008

My ex and I got a kit, and it turned out to be lacking space for some details. Take a trip to the courthouse, and talk to a clerk who can make sure you get what you need.

Mine was in Chicago, and we had to sit in a session with a judge where they went through six or eight of these in a few hours. Sadly, we were the the last even though we were the simplest. The judge ran through things likely to be disuputes (e.g., no kids, what are you doing with the cat, who's got the car, etc.) and then signed the forms and sent us on our way.
posted by stevis23 at 8:21 AM on January 8, 2008

I know this may seem to violate the 'without a lawyer' part of your question, but I worked in a domestic law office (in NC) at which the staff was more than happy to help people who wanted to file for what's called 'simple divorce' without charge. You might want to contact an attorney's office and just ask if they have a similar deal. We probably provided the paperwork (or at least pointed people in the right direction) two or three times a month, and everyone involved was happy to take five minutes of their time to help out. I guess seeing so many heavily contested struggles kind of makes people in family law want to see peaceful, amicable divorces.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:23 AM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: Call the Volunteer Lawyer Program (a public service program of the Rhode Island Bar Association designed to help people who have low-incomes obtain legal help when they need it. Its purpose is to provide legal assistance to those who cannot obtain legal representation either on their own or through other existing agencies) at 421-7758 or 1-800-339-7758. You will speak with a staff member who will ask you some questions about your legal problem and your financial status. Any information you give will be held in strictest confidence.
posted by ND¢ at 8:40 AM on January 8, 2008

I went through this about 11 years ago. The local library had a copy of Divorce Yourself, which was very helpful. I also got copies (public record) of the papers drawn up by an attorney who'd divorced himself and imitated those.
posted by jon1270 at 8:56 AM on January 8, 2008

sorry to piggyback, but just curious if these techniques work for divorces involving kids. (not asking for me - not married and no kids here)
posted by desjardins at 8:59 AM on January 8, 2008

curious if these techniques work for divorces involving kids

Divorces involving children are much more heavily scrutinized by judges to ensure that children get the best treatment for them. Even when the parents agree, a judge may order something different if he or she deems it in the best interests of the children. For this reason it is highly advisable to work with a lawyer.
posted by ubiquity at 9:08 AM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: Personally, I wouldn't pay for anything or talk to anybody before talking to the state. Go to your local county court and ask for the division that handles domestic relations. For reference, here are the Rhode Island state statutes on the matter. Under § 15-5-13 Venue they state that this is to be dealt with at the county level, so the county court is the place to go. Tell them that it's an uncontested divorce; they should be able to help you and give you the proper forms. In fact, you can call them; their number (in Providence) is 222-3215.

My regards to each of you.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Go to a local library and see if there are any books on doing your own divorce. good luck.
posted by theora55 at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2008

Seconding @koeselitz and others -- just go to the county courthouse and ask. My ex and I just did this a few weeks ago (in Florida). We went uncontested divorce -- minimal paperwork, and our hearing lasted all of 2 minutes. It still cost a few hundred dollars, though, even though we did it all ourselves.
posted by dondiego87 at 1:40 PM on January 8, 2008

My ex and I did this in August in Alaska. We had no kids, no property, no disputes. The court fees were about $100, and we were able to download PDF version of the forms with instructions from the state's website. The hearing was about 10 minutes long, which I attended over the phone because I was not able to be there in person.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:47 AM on January 10, 2008

« Older Aramaic Translation   |   How does Heston Blumenthal create drinks that are... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.