‘One-Day’ Divorce Is National Trend
Of course it’s not really “one day,” but faster, do-it-yourself, lawyer-free divorces are becoming a national trend, according to the New York Times. A driving issue is cost, reports the NYT, which reports that “… costs vary by location, but Randall M. Kessler, a family law specialist in Atlanta, said a typical divorce with no major disagreements over assets and custody issues might cost a few thousand dollars, while cases with significant disputes can easily cost $25,000 or more
In California, says the report, roughly three-fourths of family law litigants lack lawyers, according to Maureen F. Hallahan, supervising judge in the family law division at San Diego Superior Court. Typically, people file initial divorce paperwork on their own, but they don’t know what to do next, so their file languishes for months. Budget cuts in the state courts reduced available personnel and made the problem worse.
Like most “one-day” programs, the term doesn’t mean a divorce is truly started and completed in a single day — residency and notification requirements have to be met first. You must, for example, already have filed a divorce petition and served your spouse with divorce papers to participate. But the program does allow you to wrap things up in a single day, or even a matter of hours, once you meet the initial criteria. “This is designed to help people get through the system,” said Judge Hallahan.
Read the story here: California Pioneers the Court-Aided One-Day Divorce