Prenuptial agreement forms and divorce forms
If a couple is splitting amicably (or if they can at least agree on the terms of their separation and how their property is to be divided), using standard divorce forms can potentially save thousands of dollars in legal fees. As anyone who has needed to go to divorce court knows, hiring lawyers to handle the legal fallout of a failed marriage is an extremely expensive proposition.
You and your future partner can also use standard marriage forms to create agreements regarding property ownership before you tie the knot. Known as prenuptial agreements or prenuptial contracts, these forms allow each partner to catalog the assets he or she owned prior to the marriage and create an agreement as to how the property will be split if the marriage ends.
Commonly Encountered Marriage Forms and Divorce Forms
Some of the most frequently filed do-it-yourself marriage and divorce forms include:
- Uncontested divorce forms. An uncontested divorce is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to get a divorce. Essentially, it is an agreement in which both parties confirm that the marriage cannot continue and the terms of its dissolution are spelled out. In most jurisdictions, you must have been separated for a specified period of time (usually six months or one year) before you can qualify for an uncontested divorce.
- Prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement is used when each partner in the marriage agrees to protect his or her private assets from the shared ownership laws that govern marriages.
- Separation agreements. To get a divorce, many states and provinces require you and your partner to formally separate for a period of time. This period officially begins when you file a separation agreement with your local court.
Using Divorce Forms Properly
Standard separation agreements and uncontested divorce forms are fairly straightforward and easy to understand, though you must ensure that you use templates that specifically apply to the country and state or province in which you live. Otherwise, they may not be legally recognized.
Prenuptial agreements are more complex, and it is advised that you get a lawyer to look over your form before you file it. While you will have to pay your lawyer for his or her input, the required investment pales in comparison to the amount of money you stand to lose if your prenuptial contract doesn't hold up in court.