In an uncontested divorce, both parties amicably agree that the marriage should end. Even in cases where only one party wants the divorce, it is still possible to go through the divorce process without paying for costly divorce attorneys as long as both parties can agree to all divorce-related issues, such as the division of property, custody, child support and visitation for minor children.

Getting Divorce without Legal Representation – Pro Se Litigants

The number of couples going through divorce court (pro se), representing themselves without attorneys, is on the rise. This can be for a number of reasons. Some couples cannot afford to hire an attorney or simply do not want to hire an attorney. But most often it is because both parties can agree to the terms of the divorce, which makes no sense hiring a high-priced attorney to only file paperwork, which can be prepared by a paralegal saving the couple significantly in the cost of getting divorce.

An uncontested (or amicable) divorce means both spouses agree that they want to divorce, they know how they will handle child custody, visitation and support, and they know how they will divide up the marital assets and debts. Please understand that uncontested does not mean that everything will be smooth and that the two parties will not argue. It means, however, that the couple will be able to solve any issues that crop up outside of a courtroom and without judges, attorneys, or mediators to act as go-betweens or negotiators.

Benefits of the Uncontested (or Amicable) Divorce and using a Paralegal

Besides the obvious saving of money for a divorce attorney, there are other benefits to an uncontested or amicable divorce, these include:

• Parties that are in uncontested or amicable divorce situations are more likely to be able to talk over issues and come to an agreement without giving in to feelings of anger or revenge, and instead focus on making sound and fair decisions.

• The proceeding for an uncontested or amicable divorce is relatively simple, especially if you plan on filing in Lincoln County where there is no court appearance required. A contested divorce involves lawyers, judges, mediators, and a long and ugly trial. An uncontested proceeding involves the two parties and the judge that issues their decree.

• Washington State requires that all counties use the same mandatory forms. Therefore, the forms that are prepared for an uncontested or amicable divorce are the same whether you hire an attorney, paralegal, on-line document service or you prepare them yourself as a pro se litigant.

• Because the parties are in agreement to the terms of their divorce, a paralegal can prepare the documents, ready for final signature in a matter of days.

The Washington Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician Rule, effective September 1, 2012. This rule authorizes non-attorneys (paralegals) who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law. Family law matters such as uncontested divorces, legal separations and support modifications, are examples of the type of work that paralegals can provide to the public.

The Washington State Supreme Court recognized the value in paralegals assisting pro se litigants in assisting them with the preparation of their divorce or legal separation documents, because they believed there was a “wide and ever growing gap in necessary legal and law related services for low and moderate income people” and laid out the guidelines by which using a paralegal is in the best interest of the public.

If you have decided that you want to represent yourself in an uncontested or amicable divorce, and you are able to work out the divorce arrangements and agree on property and custody arrangement, using a qualified paralegal firm, such as Premier Paralegal Firm will not only save you money, but it will also save you time and emotional stress that would otherwise be unavoidable.