From divorce to digital nomad; how Digital Nomad Escape Plan made me a home wrecker, and an explanation of the online divorce process step-by-step (checklist).
Whether its an insatiable desire for change or an unexpected downsizing –not every relationship can survive all the perils of a big transition.
Some time ago I wrote about the thirty-or-so obstacles to becoming a digital nomad and highlighted that wanting to eliminate all your possessions, get an online job, and travel slowly between distant countries with no plan to return can come across unrealistic and test your existing relationships.
That post went viral and one reader came forward and politely explained to me that it was their gateway to divorce. Something I can’t say I felt very positive about, I’ll be honest.
According to the last US Census, the average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.
After reading the article, this reader (who’d prefer to keep their identity private) downloaded Digital Nomad Escape Plan and got an adrenaline rush that lasted 6 months until they felt confident enough to make the leap –start divorce process, wipe the slate clean, and get a one-way ticket to Medellín.
After a lot of research, an online divorce filing, and just over 4 months into the digital nomad lifestyle, this reader is pleased to report the process was painless and amicable.
“No Mike, you’re not a homewrecker lol. You just showed us both what we already knew was out there and always wanted –separately. We were high school sweethearts who wanted other things when we got older; we’d reached a point where it was either divorce or get on with it and have kids. We both feel we made the right choice”.
And so the questions began, and this article was conceived.
Can I file for a divorce online?
Yes, many governments will permit online divorce filings with unique requirements. In the divorce process step-by-step checklist below we’ll show you how to figure out if you qualify for an online divorce filing and what your unique requirements are.
The whole online divorce process, step-by-step, can take between 4 to 12 months. According to Forbes, the average divorce can cost between $15,000 – $30,000 with a majority of it spent on lawyers, and as little as $149+ on MyDivorcePapers.com.
How to Start Divorce Process
Learn how to start the divorce process with a step-by-step checklist, detailing what to know before hand and including resources that came highly recommended by our reader (and review sites we explored, just to be sure) along the way.
Of course, we can’t broach a topic like divorce process without a disclaimer; as our site policies indicate –no one involved in the writing of this article is a legal professional and nothing on this website should be interpreted as legal advice. If you continue reading this article you agree to our site policies.
Online Divorce Process Step-By-Step Checklist
The divorce process varies from place to place, here’s an experience from a reader with getting an “uncontested” divorce online to keep it simple.
If you’re looking at a contested divorce, you’ll probably want to speak to an attorney before you file your divorce online or offline.
This is the online divorce process, step-by-step:
1. Discuss the terms of the divorce with your spouse
I think it’s safe to assume that most surprise divorce filings don’t go over very well, and I’d dare speculate that they often get contested.
In order to ensure your divorce is clean cut and uncontested, have a clear and open dialog with your spouse.
Discuss everything. No surprises; child custody or support if you have kids, asset division, who’s on the hook for how much of what debt –leave no stone unturned. Try your damnedest to come to an agreement.
2. Find out if you qualify for an online divorce filing
In order to find out if you’re eligible for online divorce, two of your options include a visit to your supporting government website, or fill out this online questionnaire for Americans and Canadians.
3. Should you file with a government website or a third-party professional?
Similar to a travel visa service or a tax preparation service like H&R Block, there are services online that specialise in facilitating online divorces.
The best online divorce sites have attorneys on hand, are available with LiveChat, phone, and email, and are also well-known enough to have online reviews far and wide for examination.
Whether you’re only going to get familiar with the divorce process step-by-step once in your life –or this is one of many divorces, I’d personally opt for a full service professional if your divorce is uncontested. Most will have all the required forms for your city, state or province.
4. Get your debts in order
Debts and messy accounting will add complexity to your divorce and could possibly add delays or get you a raw deal. There are plenty of reputable companies that you can talk to for free, to help you consolidate debt and make it manageable.
4. Get papers to file for divorce online
After you choose your modality of online divorce –either a government website or a professional third-party, it’s time to fill out your paperwork.
Government sites will typically have expansive documentation explaining how to fill out your divorce filing yourself. Professional online divorce services will likely have a customer support line and convert these forms into easy-to-understand questionnaires.
Both services will help you pay any related fees and file your divorce papers.
5. Serve your divorce papers
If you go through a third-party service, they may be able to act as your process server as well. That means they’ll serve your divorce papers for you.
Otherwise, you can contact your government or another process server to serve your divorce papers –serving divorce papers in this way are not always required and you will be advised of this throughout the divorce process.
6. Prepare a divorce agreement
After papers are served, work with your attorney to come to a formal divorce agreement with your spouse.
An attorney will help you avoid problems down the road, like what happens with your kids if one parent decides to move out of state (it happens).
7. Have all forms reviewed and finalised by a legal professional
To wrap it all up nice and tidy, and cover yourself, be sure to have a legal professional review and sign off on the divorce process and papers before filing.
Beyond ensuring your debts are handled and you’ve got proper legal assistance, our reader passionately suggested keeping an eye on your health during the whole divorce experience.
Yoga, the gym, and meditation with breathing exercises may provide relief to the effects of stress.
Focusing on learning new skills and improving your life in tangible ways with a side hustle is also a great way to keep your mind busy through the hard times.
Take every opportunity to do something positive for yourself and your future. For our reader, that was starting the side hustle that he now uses to support his digital nomad lifestyle.
“Learn how to become a copywriter or start a blog during the process. A solid side hustle has the potential to see this through to the other side. There’s palm trees, and a fresh start. It’s worth it”.
What do you think? Share your best tips for handling the stress of the divorce process or let us know if you think we left anything out in the comments below.