Sunday, May 20, 2007

Do It Yourselfers:

As reported in the Register, the Iowa Supreme Court has finally posted online forms if you want to do your own divorce, and all you have to fight about is who gets the couch or tv (in other words, there are no kids involved). The forms are available online here.

This has been needed for a long time. There are so many situations in which a couple splits after two, five or ten years with no kids, no expensive retirement accounts or real assets, and a prearranged agreement about who gets what stuff, and yet find themselves facing thousands of dollars in attorney bills just because they don't know what forms to file or how to file them.

Yes, having a lawyer will ensure that you know exactly what you're entitled to - how much of your partner's retirement account could be considered joint property, etc. But in many of these cases, the money spent getting two attorneys (one lawyer can't represent two sides) won't offset that last little bit of funds that the two of you might have forgotten to fight over. On the other hand, it's not always that simple. If you think they've got a secret swiss bank account, or if they've never paid taxes during your marriage so the IRS might be considering you both a 'person of interest'. . . you may want to hire an expert to protect yourself. I'm just saying.

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