You never thought the dire divorce statistics in the US would ever include you, right? Even if it seems like a nightmare, don’t wait too long to get started on your divorce planning. Your soon-to-be-ex is likely already laying a plan to get the most they can from a settlement, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared.

Whatever you call it—a divorce checklist, an exit strategy—there are some items you need to begin collecting now for a divorce hearing. The internet can bring a plethora of information to you with a few keystrokes, but it can be overwhelming and some information may be inaccurate.

Who do you turn to for help? The “top” attorney in your community might be available if you can pay their premium rate. But, consider other categories of assistance as you hit roadblocks, including the more affordable option of a legal document preparation service.

So take a deep breath, and let’s go over what you need to do now.

“Lightning fast response, I had my very simple document on the same day as my order for the very fair and reasonable price of $325 (including the rush fee!) compared to my attorney who quoted me 3 weeks and $2500. I will definitely use these folks again and highly recommend them!”

L. Carnes

“I can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”

M. Rice

“I want to personally thank the staff at A People’s Choice for making my divorce process so simple and painless . From my 1st contact in the office they were was warm and friendly and took the time to explain each step in a very simple and quick manner .Filing for a divorce can be a difficult and painful process and the staff was extremely professional and clear in all guidance and explanations. I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”

C. Hannon

“Thank you A People’s Choice for saving me all the headaches when I thought I could save money and file my own divorce paperwork. The court clerks offer no assistance whatsoever with simple questions and handed me another packet to figure out on my own. Trust me, the best advice I can give you is to call A People’s Choice first. They typed up my paperwork and my divorce was final in two weeks! I am so grateful to them and I would highly recommend them to everyone.”

L. Bayer

“I’m so glad I found this company to handle my divorce. They were very professional and detail oriented and answered all of my (many) questions, keeping me informed along the way. They handled everything for me from hundreds of miles away and made it pretty seamless. The pricing was in the exact range we were looking for. Very honest company and great to work with. Highly recommend them to anyone!”

Jessica J.

“I would just like to comment on what a great job A People’s Choice did with my divorce. I have just received the final judgement and could not be happier. They told me up front what the cost would be. They also let me know how they keep the cost down by communicating through email. I also appreciated how when I had a question they got back with me in the day or in the evening. Thank You for you quick responses. A People’s Choice is a good deal for the consumer.”

R. Leyva

“I just recently moved to the Ventura area and didn’t know of any companies to help me with my legal paperwork. I am glad I chose A People’s Choice. They were very friendly and helped me with my documents in a very efficient way in very little time. Give them a try and you will be writing a positive review just as I did.”

D. Buelna

“A People’s Choice – Saved me time, money & hardship. The people are professional and a pleasure to work with, I totally recommend them to everyone! I will used them for all my legal documents in the future. Thank you!”

C. Lazalde

“I recently required the help of A People’s Choice, Inc. and found them to be entirely professional. Everything was done in short order yet all was explained to my satisfaction. They were friendly and courteous. I am happy and impressed.”

C. Zyobel

Extremely satisfied with the performance of A People’s Choice. The communication was excellent and all was handled in a timely efficient manner.

Pam T.

Made the process so easy for me. Also VERY prompt replies through email. So glad I used their services.

Kristina C.

The service provided by A People’s Choice was very professional and comprehensive. We have used A People’s Choice on a previous occasion and were completely satisfied. We would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!

R. Betancourt

“A People’s Choice is extremely customer orientated and friendly.  Their service was fast and reliable. in the future, should I need their services again, I will not hesitate to call them. All e-mails were answered with either a phone call or e-mail sometimes even late at night

Tar

“Super prices, great service, I can’t say enough about this place. We had A People’s Choice help us with a trust and POA. They are the best!”

Jessica S.

“A People’s Choice helped me to complete Child Custody modification paperwork. After looking online and trying to figure out how to do it myself, I decided to search Yelp for help. No disappointment here. The service was easy and painless. It might have been nice to have a discussion by phone, but it was still quite easy and quick via email. Overall, the process was simple and I would use A People’s Choice again. I am pleased.”

Michael J.

“How much is peace of mind worth to you? This company of hardworking, caring individuals will help you get the job done in the quickest, most efficient way. Conveniently located. Check it out. Thank you!”

Diana K.

“We love A People Choice. It’s legally run and professional. Everyone has to have a recommendation and license. Highly recommended.”

Christy C.

“Divorce is usually never pleasant but A People’s Choice made it much easier than it would have been if we tried to do the divorce paperwork on our own. They were very quick to respond to us and always took the time to answer all of our questions thoroughly, in addition to quickly. I would highly recommend them for handling divorce paperwork.”

Susan Z.

“This company is excellent! They helped me get through all of my paperwork, submitted it to the court, and now everything is complete. Everything was clear and almost too easy. I saved thousands of dollars!”

Seth M.

“Very professional, excellent follow up and easy to work with. I will recommend them often! The staff rocks!”

Gene A.

“I had the opportunity to use A People’s Choice again, Wow doesn’t say enough for the way the staff was able to get me in and out and all my answers answered. Very Professional, Organized and Friendly. I highly recommend!”

Debbie E.

I have worked with A People’s Choice since September 2013.  They are very knowledgeable and experienced.  Their work is done professionally and timely.  They show a real concern for my situation.  I recommend you give them the opportunity to be of service to you.”

D. Echeverra

“A People’s Choice is awesome! They made the legal documentation process painless. I highly recommend A People’s Choice. The name says it all.”

Eric J.

“I was very happy with the service received. They were extremely responsive by phone and email and completed the document in less than 24 hours! All questions were answered promptly. I would highly recommend this service to anyone needing a legal document prepared!”

M.D.

“A People’s Choice is a great option to get legal documents prepared inexpensively. They offer a very professional, low-cost service for all sorts of legal paperwork, from living trusts to divorce, bankruptcy and everything in between. I always received a prompt reply to my inquiries and found the legal guide they gave me extremely helpful and informative. If you know what you want to do, don’t need legal advice and just need help preparing legal paperwork, I strongly recommend calling this company. You won’t be disappointed and will save lots of money as compared to using an expensive attorney!”

Kathryn R.

“A People’s Choice prepares legal documents so you can represent yourself and still look like you know what you’re doing. I used their services recently and found them to be professional as well as extremely helpful. I couldn’t be happier.”

Evan J.

“A People’s Choice helped me with my QDRO. They were very professional and very honest. They saved me a lot of money by having them do all the paperwork. There was no hidden fees. I would recommend A People’s Choice for any of your needs. They are very knowledgeable in what they do. Thank you A People’s Choice for all your help!”

Debra H.

“I used A People’s Choice for filing divorce paperwork for an uncontested divorce. The price was very affordable and fair. Excellent service throughout. Not being able to call and talk on the phone worried me at first but they responded to every email extremely quickly. There directions were very easy to understand and they had no problem explaining something multiple times if I had questions or did not fully understand the directions. Will definitely use them again for any other legal documents I might need help with in the future.”

Frank M.

“Great way to get your divorce processed without attorneys for approx. $495. There were a few small hiccups with the documents, but nothing major, which I caught when I reviewed. I am happy with their service, efficient and organized, and would recommend them for filing a divorce that is mutually settled and skip the attorneys. Note: They are not process servers, so find your own server, or if you can do it yourself and save the $$. Thanks for a job well done!”

Bud P.

“This team is efficient, professional, ethical and easy to work with. Any of my questions were responded to immediately. They did everything they could to help me. I highly recommend their services.”

Leigh A.

“Can not remember how I found A People’s Choice. I think it was through a web search. In any case I found the company and have been and am completely satisfied with the service provided. The person I worked with (Sandra) was very friendly whenever we spoke on the phone and always responded promptly to any emails. The answers were always clear. The entire process was smooth and painless. I would recommend A People’s Choice without hesitation.”

Les A.

“When I first saw all the documents required to file I was overwhelmed at the thought of it all. I was already dealing with the stress of everything else and did not want to deal with the courts, a mountain load of paperwork and trips to file as well. When I looked around, I saw A People’s Choice had some great reviews and a decent price. I am VERY happy that I went with A People’s Choice. They were very, very helpful, Sandy was very nice and patient with me, despite all of my questions. With her assistance she helped to make this difficult time much easier by making the tedious paperwork process very easy and it didn’t take too much time at all! I definitely recommend A People’s Choice.”

M.McCleod

“Great service. Highly professional and efficient creating legal documents. I am completely satisfied and highly recommend them to others. I am so glad I found you on the internet. People who are looking for professional legal services look no further, try A People’s Choice.”

Radtech N.

“I was overwhelmed with my divorce,custody and child support paperwork Sandy at People’s Choice made everything so much easier and really put my mind at ease. I couldn’t be happier with their assistance and it really made all the process speed up for me. Thank you so much for all your help.”

Samantha R.

“A People’s Choice is a business that delivers what they promise. I was treated like a VIP by their staff and Sandy was the best. As for their services, they promptly delivered all the official documents and fillings on my behalf and their price is more than reasonable. In short, this is a business that I will always recommend and continue to use. Thank you!”

Juan B.

“I was in need of some serious help and didn’t know what to do. I had contacted a lawyer and he wanted to charge me $1800.00. Then I found A People’s Choice. They were great. They got my paperwork started and at a much lower cost, and steered me, with the help of lots of paper work, in the right direction. I am very grateful for the company’s services and would recommend them to anyone that may need the services they offer. Thank you again.”

April R.

“I highly recommend A People’s Choice.The customer service and professionalism is exceptional. My documents were delivered to me quickly and accurately. I didn’t contact them until late on Thursday afternoon and had everything in hand to be at the County Government Center by 8:00 am on Friday morning. Compared to using an attorney for complete paperwork, this service is only a fraction of the cost, more responsive, and better suited to quickly completing complicated court forms. “

Linda F.

“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. I searched the internet for a short period of time looking for help and when I found A People’s Choice, I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails on a timely manner. They took care of all the paper work and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price. “

Sharon B.

Get help filing a California divorce!

Start My Divorce

…or continue reading the article below to learn more about the divorce process explained.

1. Gather All Your Financial Documents and Information

Begin a list or spreadsheet of each account the two of you have. Note which are joint accounts and which are individual accounts.

In order to be considered a “separate” bank account that is protected during a divorce, the account had to have remained separate for the entire marriage. There are considerations for adding income earned during the marriage to a separate account as well as community property funds and inherited funds.

Here are some accounts you can start with:

Checking and savings accounts
Insurance policies
Investments
Retirement and/or pension, including IRAs

Next to each account, designate columns for account numbers, contact person, and phone number for the bank or other entity as well as a column for notes. Create a file in your computer and a hard-copy file for each account on your list. It might seem like a lot of work, but you will need digital copies to share with your advisors and hard copies for protection. You don’t want to get locked out of accounts or lose everything if your computer crashes. If you don’t want to create hard copies, be sure to save your files in multiple locations, including a cloud account only you can access.

2. Separate Joint Accounts

While you are working on your spreadsheet, you may need to act quickly in separating yourself from any joint accounts you have with your spouse. They may not be the type to swoop into the bank one late afternoon and empty the accounts, leaving you with nothing—but then again, divorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people.

The way to do this isn’t difficult. Call the bank and ask that a freeze be put on individual withdrawals on a joint account. In other words, both of you must approve any withdrawal for the time being. It’s best to tell your spouse you are taking this action so as to ward off any surprises at the bank or ATM.

Also, you can begin discussions on dividing assets with your spouse.  Each of you can put your share into a new individual account. That sounds easy, but this is another issue that often needs help from a professional, such as an attorney, a paralegal, or a mediator. Once an agreement is reached on how much each gets out of a joint account, legal document services can formalize it for presentation in court. If you’re tight on money to spend on legal help, don’t worry; cost-effective help is available.

3. Create an Inventory of the Major Assets You and Your Spouse Share

You’ve already got a spreadsheet of your finances going—now’s the time to add a list of your joint assets. Simply add columns or pages to accommodate the data about assets like homes, investment property, jewelry, cars, boats, artwork, and antiques.

These assets may be outlined in a prenuptial agreement if it exists. But if not, it may be in your best interest to make these decisions as amicably as possible. If you don’t, the court will decide for you based on your state of legal residence and other circumstances. If the court makes the decision, both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may come away worse off than if you’d managed to negotiate yourselves.

4. Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

There will be points in the divorce discussions when you will need professional legal advice. Don’t simply take a friend’s recommendation without checking out several attorneys. Everyone’s case is different. Seek out someone who knows your goals in the divorce and who will listen to you. Ask potential selections about what they specialize in, who will be working on your case, how they prefer to interact with clients, and how much they charge.

Unless you have unlimited funds, you need to know that an average hourly rate for divorce attorneys in the US is $270, with some charging up to $500 per hour. When you reach a point at which you simply need a bit of guidance, other levels of assistance may be a more cost-effective choice. For example, if you need a form completed but aren’t sure how to go about it, an online legal document service can help.

There Is Affordable Help Available

You don’t need to face divorce alone. There is aid available at every step, ranging from support from a friend to paralegals, mediators, online legal document services, and then attorneys. Together, you and your team of advisors can bring order to the chaos by being prepared and organized.

Start My Divorce