Entertainment Love and Romance There Are Two Ways to File for Divorce Share PINTEREST Email Print Courtesy Image Source via Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Cathy Meyer University of Florida Cathy Meyer is a certified divorce coach, marriage educator, freelance writer, and founding editor of DivorcedMoms.com. As a divorce mediator, she provides clients with strategies and resources that enable them to power through a time of adversity. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Cathy Meyer Updated March 13, 2018 So, you’ve decided that divorce is the solution to your marital problems. Now you are wondering what steps to take; where to begin. Where to begin depends on whether you will be using a divorce attorney or filing for divorce yourself as a pro se litigant. In other words, there are two ways to file for a divorce. I encourage those going through a divorce to use a divorce attorney. You need an advocate during the legal process of divorce that is familiar with not only your state’s divorce laws but the way the Family Court works in your jurisdiction. A divorce attorney can be invaluable to you if there are children involved are large marital assets to divide. The emotional aspects of divorce can cloud your judgment and keep you from focusing on divorce-related issues that no attorney will overlook. It truly is in your best interest to go through the divorce process with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney. Hiring and Working With a Divorce Attorney Since you've decided to hire a divorce attorney to handle the legal process, your most important goal is to hire the right divorce attorney. And, to not make the mistake of holding your attorney accountable. Divorce attorneys are human and make mistakes also. Know as much as you can about the divorce process in your state so you can moderate your attorney's activity to assure that your legal rights are being protected. Filing for Divorce Pro Se If you can’t afford an attorney or you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement without an attorney you can file for divorce on your own. If there are marital assets to divide, child custody, child support or spousal support issues at play you will be better served to hire an attorney. If for some reason this is not possible the links below will help you navigate the divorce process absent a divorce attorney. Pro Se litigation, although a frightening concept can be an asset to those without the funds to pay an attorney. I went to court, myself, 3 times without an attorney and won each case. The key to successful Pro Se litigation during divorce is the ability to focus on learning your state's divorce laws and putting your emotions on the back burner. In today's tech-savvy world most court jurisdictions have online resources for Pro Se litigants. You can go online and print off forms needed to file your original petition for divorce. Your court clerk can guide you in finding these resources and easy to follow instructions on how to file for your divorce. If you decide to go the Pro Se route I suggest you sit through a few divorce cases in your local court. This will allow you to become familiar with court procedures in family court and the family court judges and how they rule. It's a valuable education! Whatever you decide, divorce is not something to be taken lightly. Don't run to the courthouse all hot and bothered to end your marriage unless you've attempted to solve the marital problems and are 100% sure it is a divorce you want. Good luck!