Getting a divorce can be really expensive, especially if you choose to hire a Milwaukee lawyer to represent you in court. While some divorces require you to use a lawyer because of the volatility of the situation, others where both parties can be amicable and work things out, going through the process pro se, or without a lawyer, can save you both money. However, if you choose to file for everything yourself, it is often best to hire a lawyer to at least look things over to ensure that no one is shorted by the order.
The first step in filing pro se is to decide if you want to file together or if one person is doing the filing. In general, it doesn’t matter. If you can both agree, filing jointly where you both sign goes more quickly. If you can’t agree on some aspects, you will need to schedule a temporary hearing to settle those issues. You may also be required to go through mediation to try to come to an agreement yourselves instead of going in front of a judge to decide.
If you are doing the divorce without a lawyer, you will be responsible for filling out all the forms and submitting them to the proper offices. This can be overwhelming for some people. If you need help with understanding anything, most forms have directions attached. However, if you still don’t know how to fill them out or where to submit them, the Pro Se of Wisconsin organization can help you through the process.
Once everything is filed, you will receive a date and time for the final hearing. At this point, you and your soon-to-be ex only need to appear at the hearing and bring the required forms. If you have children together, you will also need to complete the required parenting program for divorcing parents. Some of the forms you will need for the final hearing include a copy of your settlement agreement, financial disclosures for each party and the vital statistics form.
At the final hearing, a judge will look everything over. If you have settled on everything together, the judge will grant the divorce. If not, the judge will make a final decision over everything that isn’t agreed upon. You will receive copies of your divorce decree in the mail several weeks after the hearing.
Going through a divorce doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. If the divorce is uncontested and you and your soon-to-be ex can agree on most things, you should be able to file for the divorce pro se. Doing the footwork by filling out and submitting the forms yourself will keep you from paying a lot of money for a lawyer. However, you may still want one to look things over. The fees for this are generally low.
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