Do-it-yourself divorce


Hi, I’m reviewing the do-it-yourself divorce which may be applicable for out case, but not sure. Me and my wife are only concerned about the child cust.,equit., distr. of the house and our retirements all of which we’ve come to an agreement on.
We want to keep cost to a minimum and would prefer to do it ourselves, if possible. Can we ?

Can we use Absolute div. ?
What forms, if any, do we use to document our agreements ?

The Separation Agreement appears to be over kill since most of it is not appl. such as cars, debt, etc. We’re walking away with our own debt, cars, etc… Just want to doc. the house and child custody.

Your website is very helpful .


If you and your spouse are in agreement regarding the terms of your property distribution, child custody, and support, the best course of action would be to have your agreement drawn up into a formal contract called a Separation Agreement, (and depending on the ages of your children a Consent Order on Child Custody). If you are splitting your retirement you must also have a QDRO drawn up and entered by the court prior to divorce.

I suggest that you do have an attorney draw up the necessary documents, if you and your spouse are in agreement regarding the division it should not be too expensive.


Hello Mr. Clarey, The Separation Agreement is quite detailed and is it all required ?

We agreed to walk away with our own debt., so do we need to list all our credit cards, loans, etc. ?

We both have our own pensions and 401ks so not an issue. Though, we do want each other to be listed as the survivor in case of death on each others retirement, which should be easy to document ?

We both want to be legal guardians of our son and split physical custody every 2 weeks. I will cover him under my
medical while I’m employed, otherwise she will cover him under hers while she’s employed. We basically share his expense.

I have the mortgage on the house while both names are on the title. I’m giving her the house, but she needs to finance the balance on the mortgage. If she obtains financing, I will sign the title to her. If not, we need to doc. an agreement where I pay the mortgage and she pays me rent and she covers the utilities until she obtains financing. If she can not obtain financing then we sell the house and split the profits.

You indicated it would be inexpensive to have you write up the papers… Do we have to pay for a consultation to identify exactly how much it would cost to have you write up the papers ?


If you are ok with taking the credit cards in your individual names, and there is no joint debt you do not have to list the debt in an Agreement. Similarly if you have agreed that a fair distribution involves you both keeping your individual retirement accounts without any disbursements being made to the other spouse you need not include this in an agreement, as the accounts will go to the owner upon divorce. The problem is that without a Separation Agreement you cannot enforce a requirement that you each remain survivor beneficiary on these accounts, and without a contract, each of you would be free to change the beneficiary upon divorce. Given the fact that in this case I do feel an Agreement is necessary, you may as well include all of the martial property to avoid any potential future issues.

I always recommend that custody be outlined in a formal document, as you have no way of predicting how the two of you will get along in the future, or what different situations may arise.

With respect to the house, the terms you are suggesting are fine, but you do need to have them outlined in an enforceable agreement.

We do not charge by the hour at Rosen as we work in a flat fee system, and a consultation would be necessary to evaluate the cost of drafting up the documents.


Hello Mr. Clarey, I am finding this information very helpful. Would the consultation to determine the cost of your services be free ?


Please contact our client liaison for information concerning the cost of a consultation. You may reach Brhea Lyke by calling the firms main number for your city and selecting extension 100.