C.B. asks from Willoughby, OH on January 11, 2010
How Do I Get a Divorce?
I am getting a divorce and i woud llike to do it the cheapest way possible . Whats the going rate should I do an uncontested divorce. I want to be able to get as much child support as possible. I m a stay at home mom and dont have alot of money and am not sure how to pay or proceed with this. Any and all advice would be reatley appreciated!
C.B. answers from Cincinnati on January 14, 2010
Unless you are very young or there is a really unbearable sitution I would not recommend it. The job market is bad and being a stay at home you are not going to get enough to live on.
S.F. answers from Fort Wayne on January 12, 2010
The cost and guidelines depend on the state you are filing in.
Usually the filing fee is about $150. Since you have children, go the child support office in the county court house and file for Temporary Custody. This means that you automatically have full custody to the children. Custody is given to you until a court hearing is set to decide joint, mom, dad or whatever. At the same time, file for child support. There's no fee. It's just a form. You can file for child support while you are separated (prior to filing for divorce). One does not have anything to do with the other... just need to be separated.
The amount of child support is purely based upon income. Minimum child support generally is based upon minimum wage and the amount goes up based upon the number of children. If you are in a state that allows alimony-spousal support (Indiana does not), then go ahead and file for that at the same time. That payment is calculated outside of child support.
You cannot file uncontested for a divorce. You file the paperwork. He has a month to review the paperwork. If he signs and sends it back into the court house, then it is "uncontested". If he does not turn it in or refuses to sign, then it's "contested". If you file, then you are obviously filing uncontested. He would be the only one that can contest. After the one month waiting period, a court date is set for one month. After the court date, it takes another 30 days for the paperwork to be finalized at the court house. Thus, it will take at least 3 months to complete the divorce. These proceedings do not have anything to do with spousal support, child support, etc.
If you have debts and assets together (as most of us do), then it will take longer to approve the divorce. Each asset and debt must be allocated to one or the other. Because assets are tricky, the only way to come out ahead to pull everything out of your house that has significant value; i.e. jewelry, nice furniture, etc. A person will come in and obtain the value of all assets at your place and his. Whoever comes out ahead will end up owing the other... unless your partner decides to be very giving and let it go. Assets also include the children's bedroom furniture, toys, video game players, TV's, etc. So... you have to figure out how picky he's going to be to decide how much you have to put into a storage facility or a friend's garage until things are finalized. Anything you purchase or anything given to you during this time period will be considered a marital asset. Anything you get rid of during this time period is considered during the split of assets.
While you can technically get divorced without a lawyer, that all depends on your partner. He may be very pushy when it comes to money, the house, furniture, custody, vehicles, etc. You might be able to find a free, discounted or pro-bono attorney. Most attorney offices have to take on a specific number of discounted or pro-bono cases a year to meet some federal or state regulation. If you are a battered person, you can probably obtain a free or discounted attorney. Contact the local YWCA or women's shelter for referrals.
This is what I've picked up for laws in Indiana, Maryland and Virginia. It's probably similar in most areas.
Ohio is more strict on partners not paying child support. Indiana is very lax. Unfortunately, you really do not have a choice on how much child support is paid or the amount. If he works under the table, does not file taxes or works at a small company, it may be harder to obtain child support even if the court does approve it. You should DEMAND the child support to be garnished from his wages. It's the only way to know you are going to receive anything on a regular basis.
Many crappy partners will quit jobs frequently to avoid paying child support regularly. When he becomes behind on child support, you can request another court date and DEMAND the child support payment to include a catch-up amount. You can request child support amounts to be reviewed every 6 months or once a year. I suggest taking advantage of this. The likelihood it will be lowered is little if any.
Additionally, during the child support, custody and divorce proceedings, you can put other financial obligations on him. You can require he provide for the children's insurance and/or deductible payments. If he refuses to provide insurance (as he will probably drop the kids insurance over time), you can ask the judge to force him to reimburse for monthly insurance premiums, deductibles and over-the-counter medicines. Those costs can be estimated over the last year and included in the child support payments.
You can also request he pay for the children's book fees each year. Think about all sorts of costs that will come up and try to include them in the custody hearing and child support hearings. Divorce court generally does not include those cost-splitting items... only to split who is responsible for what bill.
1 mom found this helpful
R.H. answers from Cleveland on January 12, 2010
There are a few ways that you can go for a divorce. First off call child support and set up a meeting with them so that you can have a child support order in place before waiting on the court system. If you don't work you could also be entitled to spousal support. Call legal aid in your area. If you call the jobs and family services in your area they could direct you to the right place. Good luck to you. Its a hard road. I know in Medina Ohio its like $250 for an uncontested divorce where you fill out all the paper work. You can call your local court house and ask them what the cost is to file and if they can send you the paper work. Hope I have helped some.
1 mom found this helpful
C.W. answers from Cincinnati on January 13, 2010
C. while I have never taken that road I know from what I have heard from friends you will pay one way or the other. Get a good lawyer(pay up front) and get a decent amount of support. Get a cheap lawyer and be lucky to get any support. I had a friend whose husband nearly killed her, stole money from her personal bank account. (He was dating the bank manager-who got fired) Since she had no money she got nothing! She's had to run and go into hiding to stay safe. No contact with past friends so he cannot find her. They had 3 kids. You could offer to do office work like typing or the books if you know how to do that sort of thing.
Good Luck you will need it!
C.D. answers from Canton on January 12, 2010
Check out your local legal aid. Also you can call your local bar association and they may be able to help.
T.C. answers from Steubenville on January 12, 2010
hi C...avoid the divorce if you can ..but otgherwise, just some things to keep in mind. Child support, on top of the monthly child support, have the father responsible for health insurance, and medical bills. How old are yer children? how many children? day care gets expensive if you have to work, have that put into the papers. Clothes!! i didn't think of that one. have a yrly allowance put in, example. Every August ( right befor school starts), father pays additional $100. per child for school clothes. Children get more exspensive as they get older, school fees, field trips, better clothes, sports, school pictures, medical problems that come up that are unexpected, medication that is unexpected. Car insurance, fuel ( the job market is not big on hiring kids in a tough economy). Birthday parties, graduations. Some of this may not be in your childrens near future, but it is in thier future, and unless you plan for it now in divorce settlement, you won't be able to change it later. and don't forget college. just some things to think about. don't make it complicated, even maybe have it wrote up that now he pays X amount per child a month, but when the kids reach 13, he pays an additional X amount. It will depend on his income. If he can afford it, get it. GL and God Bless
J.L. answers from Columbus on January 12, 2010
Just a warning, don't decide to save money by sharing a lawyer. It will cost you in the end!
L.G. answers from Houston on January 12, 2010
You NEED a lawyer.
You need someone who is solely looking out for your best interest ESPECIALLY with a child involved.
The decisions you make today and what you sign off on affect you and your child until she is 18.
Get a recommendation for a lawyer that you can trust.
K.Z. answers from Cleveland on January 13, 2010
Don't forget about pension rights. If he will get a pension when he retires, you may be able to get some of that. I know it doesn't help you with money now, but it might make your retirement years a little nicer. I believe with Social Security, if the marriage lasted at least ten years, you are entitled to collect benefits based on his work record (or on yours, whichever is a better deal for you). Just something to ask about.