Expertise.com

Best Divorce Lawyers in Santa Clara

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Divorce Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Argyris Mah, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Argyris Mah, LLP

1530 Meridian Ave #120, San Jose, CA 95125
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Argyris Mah, LLP provides clients in Santa Clara County with legal services concentrated on the areas of divorce and family law. The San Jose-based firm's partners are Arlette Argyris and Andrea Mah. The divorce lawyers offer mediation services and handle marital settlement agreements. They guide clients through divorce-related issues such as spousal support and division of property and debts. They also take on child support, custody, and visitation cases, including grandparents' visitation rights.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (10)
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
David Yomtov logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

David Yomtov

255 N. Market St. #110, San Jose, CA 95110
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

David Yomtov provides legal counsel and representation to residents of Santa Clara. He assists individuals in concerns related to divorce, property division and alimony, child custody and support, visitation, and modifications. He assesses the case and discusses options and possible outcomes with the client. His law firm also offers mediation services to help couples craft agreement terms outside the court. David Yomtov has more than 30 years of experience handling family law, probate, and bankruptcy cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (27)
Google
4.5 / 5 (15)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Dominion Law Group, LLP Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Dominion Law Group, LLP Attorneys at Law

1042 West Hedding Street, Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Dominion Law Group, LLP, Attorneys at Law, focuses its practice on family law matters for clients in Santa Clara. Led by board-certified specialist Kevin Hutcheson, the firm litigates disputes concerning divorce, spousal support, child custody, and asset division. It also works with both parties in mediating issues and finding settlements through collaborative law without the need for a trial. Hutcheson, who is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, is also affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Erickson Family Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Erickson Family Law

1245 South Winchester Blvd. Suite 102, San Jose, CA 95128
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

Business Description

Erickson Family Law addresses the concerns and inquiries of spouses and families throughout the Santa Clara area. The firm is led by board-certified specialists Mark and Matt A. Erickson, who litigate disputes concerning divorce and related business valuations following a legal separation. Mark A. Erickson has participated as a panelist for education programs for the State Bar of California's Family Law Section. His son, Matt A. Erickson, is also a court-appointed representative of minor children in hearings concerning custody and visitation rights.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (8)
Google
4.5 / 5 (2)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Foster Hsu, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Foster Hsu, LLP

1570 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Foster Hsu, LLP are divorce lawyers practicing near Santa Clara. The team of attorneys at Foster Hsu understands the stress and confusion that accompany family law matters in California. The firm offers family services in the areas of divorce, property division, spousal support, child custody and visitation, and child support. Other service areas include domestic violence, guardianship, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and stepparent adoption. Foster Hsu focuses on resolving family law issues without unnecessary litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Hepner & Pagan, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Hepner & Pagan, LLP

116 E. Campbell Ave, Suite 1, Campbell, CA 95008
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Mediation
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Hepner & Pagan, LLP, serves the legal needs of clients in Santa Clara. It provides representation in divorce and related family law matters, including child and spousal support, community property division, and child custody or parenting time. Its team of legal professionals handles alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation, out-of-court negotiation, and collaborative law. Hepner & Pagan was founded in 2018. Its senior associate, Alexandra L. Simocko, is a member of the board of a local children’s non-profit.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (11)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (9)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Office of Camelia Mahmoudi logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Camelia Mahmoudi

2021 The Alameda Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Law Office of Camelia Mahmoudi represents individuals and families in the Santa Clara community. It assists with divorce proceedings and offers legal solutions for property division, child custody and visitation, and child and spousal support. The firm also provides tax services, such as abatement of tax penalties, defense againsts the IRS, and tax payment agreements. Mahmoudi a board-certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts, and Probate Law from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (15)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Office of Matthew J. Jensen logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Matthew J. Jensen

514 S. Murphy Ave. Suite A,, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Law Office of Matthew J. Jensen serves individuals and families in Santa Clara and San Mateo and Alameda counties. The full-service family law practice assists clients in navigating through a contested or uncontested divorce, legal separation, or annulment. It provides representation, advice, or guidance for property division and child custody and support issues. The law office is led by Matthew J. Jensen, who is also admitted to practice in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (6)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Law Office of Samira Amato logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Samira Amato

2033 Gateway Place 5th Floor, San Jose, CA 95110
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Alimony

Business Description

The Law Office of Samira Amato serves individuals and businesses in Santa Clara and the surrounding locations. Included in its practice areas is family law, which covers divorce cases and issues regarding spousal support and child custody agreement. The firm also guides clients looking to form new business entities or expand existing ones. In addition, its attorney, Samira Amato, represents clients in commercial disputes. She also practices civil litigation. The lawyer has nearly 20 years of experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Avvo
4.4 / 5 (17)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Dale N. Chen logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Dale N. Chen

4655 Old Ironsides Dr Ste 220, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce
  • Paternity

Business Description

The Law Offices of Dale N. Chen represents Santa Clara-based clients in divorce cases. The practice handles related matters such as child custody and support, alimony, property division, adoption, and paternity disputes. It also works on sensitive issues such as child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. Founding attorney Dale Chen has been in the legal profession for over 30 years. He also provides representation in cases involving property disputes, deportation cases, and civil lawsuits.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (41)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of John H. Perrott logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of John H. Perrott

1625 The Alameda, Suite 208, San Jose, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

Business Description

The Law Offices of John H. Perrott caters to families and spouses in neighborhoods throughout Santa Clara. Perrott is a board-certified specialist who has at last 17 years of experience in resolving and litigating divorce disputes and subsequent matters such as child custody and support. Part of his approach includes the identification of a client's long-term legal and financial needs to be determined in negotiations for settlements. With a bilingual paralegal and legal assistant on his team, Perrott's firm is also open to Chinese-speaking clients.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
3.9 / 5 (8)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (7)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Rod Firoozye logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Rod Firoozye

3031 Tisch Way, Suite 408, San Jose, CA 95128
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

With over 25 years of experience, the Law Offices of Rod Firoozye handles divorce and family law cases in Santa Clara. It represents clients through various services, including domestic partnership litigation and mediation. It also takes on property division, legal separation, and custody matters. Founder Rod Firoozye is a fellow in IAFL and AAML and a member of ACFLS. The firm extends its services to the surrounding areas, including San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos, and Saratoga.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Avvo
4.1 / 5 (9)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (4)
Google
4.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Sabi Mand logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Sabi Mand

5201 Great America Pkwy. Suite 320, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody

Business Description

The Law Offices of Sabi Mand helps resolve divorce matters for clients in Santa Clara and the surrounding communities. It handles contested or uncontested divorce and provides mediation services. It also deals with related concerns, such as alimony, child support and custody, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Sabi Mand, the firm's lawyer, has been a mediator for individuals and families for over 12 years. He is proficient in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. The company extends its services to people in Alameda and San Mateo.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Mello & Pickering, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Mello & Pickering, LLP

1055 Minnesota Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce

Business Description

Mello & Pickering, LLP, is a San Jose-based law firm that serves clients in the Santa Clara area. It helps clients through the process of filing for divorce and provides counsel on related issues, including child support, property division, alimony, and child custody. The firm also assists victims of domestic violence in obtaining restraining orders against abusive spouses. In addition, the law office handles other family law cases involving annulment and legal separation. Jennifer Mello, one of the firm's namesakes, has over two decades of experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (33)
Google
3.9 / 5 (17)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Nguyen & Limon Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Nguyen & Limon Attorneys at Law

1625 The Alameda, Ste. 200, San Jose,, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

Nguyen & Limon Attorneys at Law is a legal practice that offers counsel and representation to clients in the Santa Clara area. Its attorneys help clients in navigating divorce cases and other family law-related matters, including complex property issues, child support, modifications, custody, visitation rights, and spousal support. They also deal with and administer same-sex divorce and prenuptial agreements respectively. In addition, the law firm provides estate planning and criminal defense services, educating its clients about their rights and responsibilities in their individual cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Firm of J. Hector Moreno, Jr. & Associates logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Firm of J. Hector Moreno, Jr. & Associates

950 S. Bascom Avenue Suite 3111, San Jose, CA 95128
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Law Firm of J. Hector Moreno, Jr. & Associates serves individuals and families in Santa Clara and nearby regions. It offers clients comprehensive community counseling, negotiation, and mediation services in various areas, such as divorce, marital settlement agreements, child custody and visitation, child support orders, property division, and religious liberty. The firm also represents clients in criminal defense cases. Hector Moreno, Jr., is a former county deputy district attorney and has been a trial advocate for more than 20 years. 

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.8
Google
4.2 / 5 (5)
Yelp
2.5 / 5 (5)
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of Dennis R. Ingols logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Dennis R. Ingols

111 North Market Street, Ste. #300, San Jose, CA 95113
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support

Business Description

The Law Office of Dennis R. Ingols provides compassionate representation to Santa Clara residents. It has been handling divorce cases, including high-conflict ones, for over 14 years. It helps partners consider negotiation as an option to amicably settle and establish co-parenting arrangements. When negotiations fall through, it litigates to resolve issues like property division, alimony, and child custody and support. Dennis R. Ingols, its attorney, consults and communicates with clients personally. He is fluent in Spanish and has appeared in court in 15 counties.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy

1871 The Alameda, Suite 335, San Jose, CA 95126
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Prenuptial Agreements

Business Description

The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy offers legal services to clients in and around Santa Clara. It handles divorce proceedings that involve various issues, including temporary and permanent spousal support, child custody, child support, property division, and domestic violence. The law firm also assists in same-sex divorces and the dissolution of domestic partnerships. Founding attorney Matthew J. Rudy has been representing individuals and families since 2007. He is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a family law specialist.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (12)
Google
4.6 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of Shiva Moozoun Attorney at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Shiva Moozoun Attorney at Law

651 W Hamilton Ave, Ste 1000, Campbell, CA 95008
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Uncontested
  • Contested
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Shiva Moozoun, Attorney at Law, is a boutique law firm that serves clients in Santa Clara and the surrounding areas. It provides counsel and representation in all areas of divorce, including child custody and support, alimony, and division of marital assets. The legal office also represents clients in several practice areas, including immigration law and tax law. For more than a decade, founding attorney Shiva Moozoun has been helping clients in protecting their rights while avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic steps to filing for divorce?

The steps required to file for divorce depend heavily on whether the divorce is contested, if there are minor children or property issues at stake, and if there are disagreements over child support or alimony. The process may also differ from state to state, but generally parties must:

  • File the divorce petition
  • Hire a process server to give the other party divorce papers/respond to the original petitioner's filing
  • Request temporary orders covering issues such as custody/visitation, support, and exclusive property use
  • Make financial disclosures
  • Request discovery from your spouse
  • Propose and/or consider a possible settlement
  • Go to trial if necessary
  • Receive a signed judgment from the court indicating the divorce is final
  • Address post-divorce tasks such as transferring property titles and closing joint bank accounts

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The cost of a divorce differs dramatically based on a litany of criteria, such as whether the divorce is contested, where the divorce petition is filed, and whether the divorce requires a professional intermediary or other legal expert. A simple, low-frills DIY divorce can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Add in mediation and the cost may jump to the mid-four figures and can easily reach $7,000 or more. Hire a lawyer and you may pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000+ if there are major custodial issue or complex financial concerns.

How much does a divorce lawyer cost?

Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and billing can vary dramatically. Some attorneys in more affordable markets and/or with less experience may charge as little as $75/hour. More experienced attorney or those who have large staffs, specialize in complex cases, or hold relevant certifications may charge premium rates in excess of $400/hour. Then there are the amount of hours invested; simple cases may be over in a matter of weeks while hotly contested divorces can drag on for years leading to lawyer's fees in the tens of thousands.

How to choose a divorce lawyer/what to look for?

Divorce lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. It's important to find a lawyer whose skill set, experience, and resources align with the demands of each specific situation. For instance, some attorneys will push mediation while others are naturals in the courtroom.

  • Know your budget
  • Limit your search to lawyers experienced in family law
  • Zero in on lawyers or firms that can handle the complexities of divorce, especially any issues that may be specific to the current case
  • Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations, but remember that their situations and needs may not be the same
  • Conduct interviews to see who feels trustworthy and can spell out an approach that feels appropriate
  • Try to ignore ad campaigns and office décor and instead consider track record and skills

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on the major issues, such as custody of any minor children, child support, alimony, and how to divide any assets and/or debt. While uncontested divorces still require a judge to approve the terms of the divorcing couple's signed agreement, these relatively simple splits tend to move faster, cost less money, and are easier to execute without the help of a divorce lawyer. A divorce filing that goes unanswered by the non-petitioning party may also be considered uncontested.

Can you file for divorce without a lawyer?

It's possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, especially if the divorce is uncontested. Many states offer free divorce forms either online or at legal self-help centers located in or near family court. There are often dispute resolution resources available as well; mediation services can help iron out disputes over custody or financial support without involving lawyers. Still, a free consultation with a divorce lawyer can offer valuable insight, and contentious divorces, whether they go to trial or not, all but require legal representation.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The length of a divorce is contingent on four things: each state's mandatory waiting period, whether the divorce is uncontested or contested, how quickly both sides can come to an agreement, and how quickly a judge is able to hear or review the case and sign off. The best-case scenario is an uncontested divorce in a state with a short waiting period which could see a divorce finalized in a matter of weeks. For divorces with highly combative parties, long discovery periods, and other complications, a decision could take months or even years.

How to prepare for divorce?

It's difficult to ever feel truly prepared for the rigors of divorce, but there are several steps that can make the process more bearable and allow for a more positive outcome:

  • Interview attorneys
  • Locate and make copies of important documents like mortgage and car titles, insurance policies, business licenses, financial records, bank statements, and income tax returns
  • Take inventory of valuable household items that should be considered later while splitting assets
  • Make a detailed list of monthly expenses, including utilities, rent or mortgage, childcare, kids' activities like sports or dance classes, school tuition, and insurance
  • Know what the respondent's income is, including any income from self-employment, stock dividends, and interest
  • Double-check credit history and evaluate both short- and long-term earning potential
  • Set goals for ideal custody arrangement, support amounts, and living arrangements
  • Get support from friends and family

What to do with an engagement ring after divorce?

Most courts follow state laws that consider an engagement ring to be the recipient's property once a wedding takes place, which means it remains that recipient's individual property even after a divorce. Other states categorize engagement rings as marital property and as such the ring is subject to the same division of assets as a house or art collection might be. For spouses who get to keep their jewelry, engagement rings can be sold, dismantled and repurposed, returned to the original buyer, or kept and handed down to any children the marriage may have produced.

What is divorce mediation?

When divorces get heated or even just have the potential to become messy, a neutral third party can help calm both parties and resolve issues without the need for a trial. This is called mediation. A great mediator is unbiased and invested in a balanced, fair outcome; they will ideally listen to both parties, encourage respectful discussions, and raise questions or concerns when appropriate. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare documents detailing the agreed-upon terms. Using a mediator only works if both sides are willing to meet and discuss a compromise, but doing so can save a considerable amount of time, money, emotional strain, and overall stress.

Read all FAQs