People often assume that the divorce process is a lengthy and tiresome ordeal that drains money from both partners. It is also assumed that each spouse has to hire a lawyer. However, that is not the case anymore, as there are numerous legal mechanisms to simplify the process, which vary from state to state. This article provides some useful information about getting a divorce without hiring a lawyer in the state of South Dakota.
First things first — lawyers are involved in complicated divorces with disputes over important things such as child custody and property division. That is why it is possible to avoid using a lawyer’s services when both spouses reach an agreement and decide to go on with an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce in South Dakota
An uncontested divorce refers to a procedure where partners solve their differences themselves or a mediator’s help. As a result, spouses have all the binding terms of their divorce sorted out before facing the court. However, it’s not that simple. In South Dakota, spouses need to agree on several important issues:
- Grounds for divorce;
- Custody over minor children;
- Division of property;
- Division of debts;
- Any additional issues.
If partners are unable to reach an agreement on any of these issues even with the mediator’s assistance, the court will not grant permission for an uncontested dissolution of marriage, meaning that there will be a need for a lawyer. So, starting the process without disagreements is the best way to keep the divorce inexpensive!
Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce
There are several obvious reasons why people favor getting a divorce without an attorney and other third parties. For example, the ability to do it yourself means that uncontested divorce is way more affordable than the traditional procedure.
However, one might ask how to deal with all the documents and procedures without the help of a professional? Thankfully, the answer is simple — many instruments can make the DIY divorce a reality!
For example, it is possible to learn about the whole divorce process from the South Dakota Legal Self-Help database. It features information about what should be done and digital copies of divorce papers, so there’s no need to be worried too much about paperwork.
Furthermore, those interested in doing divorce papers themselves can employ the services of Internet divorce preparatory tools. Online divorce services are a perfect solution for spouses who agree on all the terms and want to reduce the cost of divorce to the minimum while making the process quick. These companies provide clients with several benefits, including considerably lower costs than the services of a lawyer, speed (the paperwork can be ready in just a couple of days), and convenience (it can be done from anywhere you have internet).
How to Begin Filing for Divorce in South Dakota
After determining which forms are required from a local county clerk or online database, it is possible to fill them out. In South Dakota, it is important to remember that the state does not accept joint divorce petitions, meaning that one of the partners will have to do all the paperwork. Thankfully, online divorce paper preparation services are here to help out.
After filling out the paperwork, make two copies. Then submit the originals to the court. The court will charge a filing fee at the time of submission. After paying, they will stamp and date the forms, officially initiating the divorce. The fees can vary from county to county, so keep that in mind. If the filing spouse cannot afford to pay the fee, they can request a waiver. The judge reviews the request and decides on whether to grant it.
After filing with the court, it is time to serve one copy to your spouse. Options for serving the other partner include:
- Send by mail with a mandatory receipt signature;
- Hire a sheriff or a private process server to deliver the documents.
Finishing the Process
The filing spouse needs to provide proof of service to the court. This completes the filing process. In South Dakota, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period from the date of filing the papers. After the waiting period has passed, a judge reviews the paperwork. If everything is okay, the judge signs the Final Judgment or a Decree of Divorce to finalize the process.
As shown above, it is possible to complete the legal dissolution of marriage without hiring an expensive lawyer. People interested in doing things themselves can find everything needed online and even receive professional assistance filling out the documents. That is why online divorce in South Dakota is an affordable alternative to the services of a lawyer. With their help, preparing for a divorce over the Internet becomes a reality.