Do you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

Legal Q&ACategory: Family Law - Divorce & CustodyDo you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
Reader asked 5 years ago

Can a Husband & wife file for a divorce without going thru a lawyer? Can you buy the legal papers on line? What is the best & cheapest way to go about it?

1 Answers
Dave Alden answered 4 years ago

The answer to your question is Yes. It is precisely the uncontested divorce, where you’d want to do-it-yourself. And Yes, you can get a forms kit online, also from your county law library and/or the family court, or their web sites. Here is the link to’s Legal Forms. offers family law (divorce, custody and support, as well as pre- and post-nuptial and divorce settlement agreements) forms that you can purchase online and download as Word documents, to fill out on your computer and print. Nice thing about our legal forms is, they are also organized by state, so you’re not trying to use an Arizona form in New Hampshire.
We also have information and resources about dissolution of marriage.
By way of short history, do-it-yourself divorce was where the legal self-help movement started back in the early 70’s. The “original” Nolo Press was founded by Ed Sherman, who wrote How to Do Your Own Divorce in California. In those days, people thought it was crazy to handle your own divorce case. State Bar associations tried to quash the movement with lawsuits spanning two decades. Sometime during all this, Nolo split into two. The original Nolo Press is now Nolo Occidental in Santa Cruz, CA. The “big” Nolo Press is in Berkely, CA. carries a nice selection of self-help divorce books including the original published by Nolo-Occidental.
I’ll leave you with a general piece of advice: If your divorce involves debt, consider filing a single bankruptcy case (as a married couple) to wipe out the debt. That’s a lot cheaper, in money and emotional toll, than fighting in family court over who’s going to be stuck with the debt. Divorce is right up there with illness, loss of employment and business failure as an appropriate reason to file bankruptcy.
— Dave
Alden Law Group
Aviation & Business
Sacramento, CA
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