3 places you can find free or cheap divorce papers

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Divorce papers can be very complicated and hard to understand. Here is what you need to know:

Each state has its own terminology for the different papers required to file and complete the divorce, but these steps are typically involved:

  • Petition for dissolution of marriage — This kicks off the divorce, listing all assets and children involved in the proceedings, and is generally served by one party to the other, with a request for response.
  • Settlement agreement to document how all assets and debts will be divided.
  • Summons — These papers inform each party that the divorce has been initiated, and tells each that they should not change insurance polices or joint financial accounts, or sell any property.
  • Custody agreement, or divorce settlement — Hopefully, you and your spouse will not go to court to settle your divorce, but instead agree to terms of the split either with attorneys or between the two of you. These terms are documented in a divorce settlement, and filed with your divorce papers.
  • Marriage licensed / information about when and where you married.
  • Financial documents, including recent pay stubs, tax returns, deeds and mortgages, debts — used to help with property division
  • Divorce decree — This is the final, signed and sealed divorce document.

Learn more about the basics of the process in this post, including costs.

If you have hired an attorney or mediator to process your divorce, they will provide divorce papers for you — all while charging you a high hourly rate.

You do not need to pay for divorce papers. You can find cheap divorce papers online. Or you can find free divorce papers at your local courthouse. More on this below.

Signs your husband or wife is ready for divorce

Where can I find cheap divorce papers?

  1. Local courthouse
  2. Online divorce paper service
  3. Your attorney or mediator will provide divorce papers, but you have to pay the professional good money to get them

Where to find cheap divorce papers online: 3 Step Divorce

3StepDivorce provides 100% of your divorce papers online for your state, plus detailed instructions for how to file them in your local courthouse, getting started for $84. Get a $50 rebate if you file the same business day.

3StepDivorce has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has been in business since 1997.

3StepDivorce is fast and easy — this is how long it takes to finalize your online divorce papers:

3 step divorce how long take

Learn more about 3StepDivorce in this review. The site has an A+ BBB rating, and helps you get started with filing your divorce for $84.

Check out the rules in your state regarding online divorce:

AlabamaAlaska
ArizonaArkansas
CaliforniaColorado
ConnecticutDelaware
District of ColumbiaFlorida
GeorgiaHawaii
IdahoIllinois
IndianaIowa
KansasKentucky
LouisianaMaine
MarylandMassachusetts
MichiganMinnesota
MississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraska
NevadaNew Hampshire
New JerseyNew Mexico
New YorkNorth Carolina
North DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregon
PennsylvaniaRhode Island
South CarolinaSouth Dakota
TennesseeTexas
UtahVermont
VirginiaWashington
West VirginiaWisconsin
Wyoming

Where to find cheap divorce papers online: Rocket Lawyer

RocketLawyer is an online service that provides dozens of divorce-related paperwork including separation agreements, divorce worksheets, custody agreements, property division worksheets and more.

RocketLawyer allows you to either buy individual legal papers for $39.99 each, or get unlimited documents for a subscription of $39.99 monthly. Additional fees for 30-minute attorney consultations.

Read our Rocket Lawyer review, or get started with a 7-day free Rocket Lawyer trial now >>

Where can I get free divorce papers online?

You can get divorce papers — often for free — for yourself, by contacting your local courts. Many states provide online divorce papers for free or for a low price online.

Whether you print free divorce papers from your the local court house’s online website, your attorney emails them to you, and you print at home, or an online divorce services provides them, these are typically going to be the same, official divorce documents that you would get in-person from your local courthouse. There should be no problem with the state recognizing your divorce papers if you print free divorce papers you get online, as long as if they are from a reputable source.

How stay-at-home moms can get divorced

What paperwork do I need for divorce? What divorce papers look like

Each state has its own terminology for the different papers required to file and complete the divorce, but these are typically involved:

  • Petition for dissolution of marriage — This kicks off the divorce, listing all assets and children involved in the proceedings, and is generally served by one party to the other, with a request for response.
  • Summons — These papers inform each party that the divorce has been initiated, and tells each that they should not change insurance polices or joint financial accounts, or sell any property.
  • Custody agreement, or divorce settlement — Hopefully, you and your spouse will not go to court to settle your divorce, but instead agree to terms of the split either with attorneys or between the two of you. These terms are documented in a divorce settlement, and filed with your divorce papers as well as child support orders.
  • Divorce decree — This is the final, signed and sealed divorce document.

5 tips for a quick divorce

Which divorce papers need to be notarized?

Typically, you will need to get these divorce papers notarized:

  • Initial divorce filing
  • Financial documents
  • Final divorce settlement agreement

How are divorce papers served?

If you and your divorce have an uncontested divorce, you will sit down together or with a mediator and work out the details of the separation and file together.

However, you may choose to file for divorce in your local courthouse and serve your spouse papers. Each state has different requirements for proof of service, so check with a local clerk, but you may document that your soon-to-be ex was indeed served divorce papers by:

  • Certified mail
  • Process server — this can be a professional service, a local law enforcement office (police or sheriff) or you can ask a friend. Any process server will have to sign and have notarized an affidavit that they served the other party.
  • By publication. Take out a classified ad in your local newspaper — this is cold, but may be useful if you do not know where your spouse lives.

9 things you should ask for in divorce

Divorce papers fake? How do I know if my divorce papers are real?

You can always get divorce paper forms yourself directly from your local courthouse. Once the divorce is filed, you can check on its status through the clerk, and most states have an online tracking system. If you are working with an attorney or mediator, that professional should give you the case number so you can track it yourself.

Fake divorce papers are rare, though occasionally a news story appears about local businesses charging divorcing couples to file their papers, but not actually doing so.

Bottom line: Where to get free do it yourself divorce forms

There are many free online templates to help you with your divorce. We recommend these from RocketLawyer, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Do-it-yourself/online divorce companies help you save time and money, keep divorce amicable and low-conflict and get on with your life already!

Learn more about collaborative divorce. Understand if parallel parenting is right for you, including if you and your co-parent have a 50/50 parenting schedule.

Where can I find cheap divorce papers?

RocketLawyer is an online service that provides dozens of divorce-related paperwork including separation agreements, divorce worksheets, custody agreements, property division worksheets and more. RocketLaywer allows you to either buy individual legal papers for $39.99 each, or get unlimited documents for a subscription of $39.99 monthly.

Where can I get free divorce papers online?

You can get divorce papers, often for free, for yourself, by contacting your local courts. Many states provide online divorce papers for free or for a low price online.

Which divorce papers need to be notarized?

Typically, you will need to get these divorce papers notarized:
initial divorce filing, financial documents, and final divorce settlement agreement.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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