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What is the cheapest you can get a divorce for in 2022?

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The information contained on this page does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.

Divorce is notoriously painful— emotionally, logistically and financially. However, there is a large and growing movement to help people divorce with as little conflict and expense as possible. The cheapest way to divorce is to negotiate a settlement and file yourself in your local courthouse. 

A quality online divorce papers service can help you get all the papers you need and hold your hand with filling them out and filing. 3 Step Divorce is our No. 1 choice, with a high BBB rating, strong customer service and $50 rebate if you file within 1 business day.

What is the cheapest you can get a divorce for in 2022?

The cheapest divorce you can get is a $70 filing fee (average throughout the state) in Wyoming — assuming you and your spouse agree to the terms and file yourself without any outside counsel or support. The cost of divorce can quickly go up as hourly attorney fees can average $300 or more in costal cities, bringing even an average divorce bill to $20,000 or more per spouse. 

You do not need to pay for divorce papers because you can find free divorce papers at your local courthouse. 

You can also find cheap divorce papers online from legit companies with instructions specific for your state:

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 can I get free divorce papers?

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.

Where can I find cheap divorce papers?

  1. Go to your local courthouse or check their website to download papers for free
  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.

Rocket Lawyer for a do-it-yourself divorce kit

Rocket Lawyer is a source for legal documents, as well as legal advice, that costs a fraction of what traditional lawyers charge to create, fill out and file the same documents. Especially if you do not have a complicated divorce, were married a short time, or have few assets to divide, this can be a low-cost, easy-to-use resource.

With Rocket Lawyer, you pay for access to legal help and resources for many topics, including divorce. Using a simple question-and-answer format, Rocket Lawyer helps you understand and complete every form quickly and painlessly. 

Rocket Lawyer offers many of its online resources for free. You don’t have to pay anything to ask legal questions via online chat, or through email. You can also try their online law services for free for seven days and get access to their entire library of legal documents, free 30-minute consultations on each new legal issue you have, and quick legal advice from Rocket Lawyer’s on-call lawyer network, plus more. Get a free divorce worksheet from RocketLawyer >>

RocketLawyer provides a free divorce worksheet for everyone, no matter whether you are a subscriber or not.

A premium Rocket Lawyer membership costs $39.99 per month, or you can purchase legal documents and legal help a la carte instead. And if you have a complicated situation and wind up needing an in-person lawyer, you’ll get a 40% discount through Rocket Lawyer as a monthly member. Plus, Rocket Lawyer is Better Business Bureau accredited, with a rating of A+.

Pros of Rocket Lawyer

  • Thorough offerings of legal documents and attorney consultations for most personal and business legal needs — including divorce. 
  • Buy only the documents you need = cost-effective. Save and download your divorce papers PDF.
  • Rocket Lawyer keeps its customer’s information and data under lock and key with encryption and other security measures.
  • Free divorce worksheet
  • High BBB and customer service reviews
  • Free 7-day premium membership trial

Cons of Rocket Lawyer

  • Rocket Lawyer is a bit pricier than its competitors in the DIY divorce space unless you can resolve your divorce quickly.
  • The 30-minute consultations, though free, can only be used to answer one specific legal question per call.

Thanks to the trove of free information, low cost and personalized, discounted legal services, Rocket Lawyer is a great hybrid service that can make sense for many divorcing couples. Read our reviews of online divorce services.

Should you sell your engagement ring after divorce? My experience …

Nolo for divorce and separation agreement templates

Nolo is a publishing company that specializes in offering legal help via ebooks, online forms, hardcopy books and software. They specialize in DIY divorce.

Nolo has dozens of ebooks for purchase to help you with your legal questions and processes, including divorce.

It’s a simple online checkout process, and you can download them as ePub or PDF depending on what kind of device you’ll be using them to read them.

You can also get most of them as physical books, in which case you’ll also have access to an ebook with your purchase.

Here are some of the topics and titles:

  • Divorce & Money
  • Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support
  • Mediate, Don’t Litigate
  • Divorce After 50
  • Building a Parenting Agreement That Works

I bought a few of Nolo’s most popular DIY divorce ebooks. Here’s a look at what you’ll get:

For starters, each ebook provides detailed and thorough information on what to expect and complete for your divorce.

Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, for example, is more than 500 pages long, and it’s updated regularly — in fact, its eighth edition was published in May 2020. It covers topics like how to divide property, spousal support and health insurance, how child support works, how to choose a mediator, and preparing and filing legal divorce papers for an uncontested divorce.

The process is simple: buy and download the state-specific divorce documents, fill them out, sign with your partner, and file them at your local courthouse. Divorce, estate planning, and other legal questions can be looked up online using Nolo’s DIY expansive network of legal information, DIY guides and ebooks, and their lawyer directory (if you do choose to go that route or just need more advice).

Nolo’s popular book and e-book, Divorce & Money, is $27 for the bundle. This book is a guide to help couples make informed financial decisions during divorce, covering topics like dividing debts, settling alimony, divorce negotiations, avoiding tax problems, handling child support and custody, and reducing risks to your investments during your divorce. And you don’t need to speak legalese, either – everything is written in layman’s terms. Nolo keeps their guides, information and products up-to-date with laws and tax details.

Nolo has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2020.

Pros of Nolo

  • Nolo has a great reputation among many leading publications and customer reviews.
  • The cost of learning the necessary legal aspects of divorce with Nolo’s resources and products is much less expensive than hiring a lawyer or attorney.
  • Nolo offers a comprehensive library of easy-to-digest information about divorce, including videos, podcasts, and articles.
  • The company can help you connect with one of its network attorneys, should you need to hire a lawyer.

Cons of Nolo

  • You’ll do the legwork yourself. Nolo only provides the information to help you make the right legal decisions.
  • Nolo isn’t a substitute for a lawyer, as with any DIY program.

LawDepot for separation agreement templates

LawDepot is a legit company, founded 2001, and has a 4½ star rating (out of five) on TrustPilot, which the site considers an “excellent” rating. It’s been rated more than 3,000 times.

The Better Business Bureau accredited LawDepot and gives the site an A+ rating. The website has a two-star rating based on 50 complaints from consumers. Many of the complaints seem to stem from users who didn’t cancel their accounts before the end of the 7-day free trial; Law Depot responded to these complaints on the BBB website and, in some cases, refunded the charges.

Law Depot generates a separation agreement based on the laws and protocol of your state, and makes sure that it is a legitimate document that will be upheld in your state’s courts.

To get a Law Depot separation agreement, follow the prompts based on your personal information, then download, and work with your spouse and/or attorney to complete it. Then you must sign, notarize and file it in your local courts.

Law Depot separation documents cost $35, and are valid for 5 years.

Pros of Law Depot

The site is easy to navigate.

Filling out the documents is very simple, and Law Depot offers information to help you figure out some of the thornier questions.

Law Depot customizes your documents based on the laws of your state.

The company has some other documents that could be useful in your post-divorce life, including a cohabitation agreement, a common-law partner agreement and a prenuptial agreement.

Cons of Law Depot

The biggest downside of LawDepot is that there’s no divorce document available. With a site like 3 Step Divorce you get everything you need to start – and finish – your divorce, including specific instructions for how to file in your state.

If you forget to cancel the free one-week trial, you will be opting into a monthly subscription – which means an automatic $33 charge on your credit card. (And additional $33 charges in future months, if you keep forgetting to cancel the account.)

What to know about the paperwork to keep your divorce cheap

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.

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: How to keep your divorce cheap and (relatively) hassle free

Online divorce and 100% DIY divorces are not for everyone. A few pitfalls of this path include:

  • You may find the filing process intimidating or even impossible 
  • It can be easy to make mistakes in the legal process, delaying finalizing the divorce 
  • Without professional advice, you might agree to a settlement you later regret. That explains why low-conflict, low-cost options like mediation and collaborative divorce, both of which include trained professionals devoted to low-conflict divorce, are gaining popularity.
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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