Divorce happens to a lot of people, some of whom have no idea where to go for help. Actually, there are many resources available, and some of them are free.
No matter how "mutual" the divorce decision is, ending a marriage is always difficult, both legally and emotionally. There are many questions to ask such as, "How should we divide our property?," "Which friends will stick with me?" and everything in between.
So where can you get the help you need for your divorce? Here are three options you may want to consider:
Free Online Resources
For questions about how the divorce process works, what your state laws are, and other facts about the process, take advantage of all the free information online.
Our free Guide to Getting a Divorce summarizes the major issues you'll want to be familiar with. And our FindLaw Answers Marriage & Divorce message board offers a free forum where you can discuss issues with our online community.
Personal Divorce Help
At some point in the process, the things you need to know will move beyond general and be specific to your situation.
Your local family court likely has a self-help center where staffers can explain court procedures and help you with your paperwork to some extent. But they can't give you advice about your legal situation, nor can they represent you in court.
Another option is to sign up for a personal legal plan. Similar to health insurance, a legal plan gives you unlimited on-call access to local attorneys so you can ask questions whenever they come up and not have to worry about the bill. Legal plans don't have to be expensive; one option called LegalStreet works out to just $12.50 per month.
Hiring a Lawyer
If your question gets too complicated, LegalStreet also offers discounted rates to members to hire a local attorney affiliated with the plan. You can also search for an experienced divorce lawyer via FindLaw's Lawyer Directory. Some even offer free initial consultations.
Divorce is a legal process, which means you will have to deal with a court at some point. Just remember, no matter how you decide to get legal help, a divorce isn't something you have to figure out by yourself.
Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.