Confused and confused


**I have some Q’s
1- My wonderful & thoughtfull wife has provided me with an after anniversary gift. On a nice and quite Monday evening she allowed me to be blind-sided. A very niece and large (6’-5") Deputy Sherriff, allowed me time to move my #*^%@!~~! out of the house, Oh and put in my hand for my perusal, a DVPO (Domestic Violence Protective Order). I seem to have ben so blessed that I am Homeless (ejected from MY home), Broke ( her non-thinking has frozen me bank accounts) and to top it off, a threat to my NOW, STBX AND CHILDREN. I thinking, what the hell just happened - I’ve been screwed, dued, tattooed and the modern effecient way. Didn’t see that one coming and I still have to make mortgage payments, OK enough of that!!!

It seems she has helped my dream come true. This is going to DIVORCE! Now is the time I need some help.
I don’t have the money for an attorney. So, I have no choice but to do it myself,
**) The DVPO is/was the 1st step (makes no difference if it’s dismissed or contuined)

1)    What is the 2nd step - WHAT FORM DO I NEED "NEXT" TO PROCED TO DIVORCE?
1-a) Will you please explain what or how to complete that form?

2)    What is the 3rd  step - WHAT FORM DO I NEED "NEXT"?
2-a) WIll you please explain what or how to complete that form?

3)    What action can I take thru the court to help/nudge/force to cooperate?
3-1) WIll you please explain what or how to complete that form?

4)     Is there a 4th or 5th step?
4-1)  Will you please explain?


Just my opinions, but:

First of all, you will have to wait for a year from the date of separation before filing for a divorce. No exceptions in this state.

Second of all, you should probably see an attorney to make sure you are protected as soon as possible given the anger and the erratic sudden decisions. (You may wish to go ahead and file for equitable distribution of assets seeing as how you didn’t have much time to get the things you wanted out of the house, plus it could relieve you from some of the mortgage payment burden.)

Third, I would put a hold on my credit if I were you, given that she has had the accounts frozen. Any money you earn from now on out should be placed in a separate bank account under your name only.

Next, I would use the Child Support Calculator on this site to determine how much child support should be paid given the amount of custody you would like, start paying that amount and start setting up a custody schedule to reflect that. ( #1, it shows good faith to provide for the kids before being asked, #2 any custody you set up prior to court is most likely to be adhered to provided there are no other extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately the DVPO is going to make custody a difficult issue. I’d definitely at least seek a consultation with an attorney.)

When your 1 year waiting period has finished there are forms that you may use to do a divorce by yourself. (Go to “Divorce” > “Forms” at the home page of this site to view/download them.)

If you can negotiate anything between you two to address in a separation agreement in advance, it may save you money in the long run. But be advised, HAVE YOUR OWN COMPETENT ATTORNEY LOOK OVER ANY SEPARATION AGREEMENT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT. ONCE IT IS SIGNED AND NOTARIZED THE TERMS CANNOT BE CHANGED WITHOUT WRITTEN AGREEMENT FROM BOTH YOU AND YOUR STBX.


The first step is to attend the return hearing on the DVPO hearing and present your side of the story to the judge.

To proceed towards divorce you will need to file suit for Equitable Distribution of property, Child Custody and Child Support. The lawsuit is filed and then served on your spouse, she will then have 30 days to respond. You may schedule a hearing for an interim distribution of property to unfreeze the bank accounts, and to be awarded some cash. . You will need to include a motion for such a distribution in your Complaint before scheduling the same for hearing. There are many various other steps involved in litigation, and the process involves much more than forms. Many counties do offer self serve clinics which provide information and resources on how to proceed pro se, however I strongly recommend that you seek advice from an attorney.