What does “DIY” mean or stand for?
DIY means “Do it yourself.” The phrase is self-explanatory- in our context, you are printing and completing divorce forms by yourself and without the help of an attorney. With that said, DashDivorce.com makes it as easy as possible to complete our forms- we provide you with directions and examples to make your divorce experience as productive as possible.
What are "Court fees," and how much do they cost?
Whenever you, an attorney, or a Courier service files documents with the Court (such as a Complaint for Divorce, etc.), the Court charges a fee for the filing. Filing fees across the state vary widely, and are based on the county in which the document is filed. Filing fees can be as little as $30 or $40, or as much as $200 or $300 or more. Typical filing costs are around $150 to $300. If a Courier delivers documents to the Court for you, you must provide the Courier with the appropriate amount with which to pay the Court.
What is an MSA?
An “MSA” is a Marriage Settlement Agreement. An MSA is the contract that is negotiated and drafted in a divorce that settles the issues that arise pursuant to a divorce. An uncontested or settled divorce is often a two-step process: the first step is settling the economic, support, custody, etc. issues with a contract or MSA, and the second part is filing for divorce and receiving a divorce decree through your county. An MSA is often confused with the divorce decree. Usually, a divorce decree simply states that you are divorced, and may reference an agreement or an Order (or lack thereof) that takes care of the economic and other issues. The MSA is the document that settles those other issues. In a litigated divorce, there are many more steps to a divorce. Often, in a litigated divorce, it is an Order issued by a judge following trial or litigation that finalizes those issues. If you have a litigated divorce, you should contact an attorney as DashDivorce.com is not a law firm and cannot provide any legal advice.
How many steps are there to filing my own uncontested divorce?
In general, a one count, no fault divorce is started by filing a Complaint for Divorce through your county. This may be done by you by using forms such as those purchased through DashDivorce.com, or by hiring an experienced attorney to handle your case for you. The defendant on the Complaint must then receive (or be served) with the Complaint. Another form is then filed which documents that the Defendant properly received the Complaint for Divorce. After the state-mandated 90 day waiting period is satisfied, both the Plaintiff and the Defendant sign and file Affidavits of Consent and Waivers of Notice, which are short titles for documents required in a 3301(c) divorce action. Depending on your county, other documents, such as those regarding military service, may be required. Once all documents have been filed, either a client or representative (or their attorney) may Praecipe and/or file for a Decree in Divorce, which is issued upon proper completion and filing of the other divorce documents. Only an attorney can advise you of the correct forms and content within those forms which is necessary and/or appropriate for your case.
Does an MSA get filed with the Court?
Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. An MSA is a private contract that, once properly executed by the parties, stands on its own as an enforceable contract. Sometimes, it isn’t filed at all, for privacy and other reasons, unless there is a breach of the contract. In other cases, for safe keeping or if the county requires it, it is filed.
What if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce forms?
In short, this can happen! If it does, you can’t proceed with uncontested divorce forms. You may wish to consult with an attorney.
If I get confused by the forms I bought on DashDivorce.com, can I speak with an attorney?
You should. DashDivorce.com is not a law firm and cannot give you legal advice. If you have trouble with the technology or the forms, you can contact us for help. Our goal is to make the forms and their instructions as clear as possible, but we cannot provide legal direction. If you wish to speak with a representative about any issue, you may do so. If you require legal advice, we again suggest consulting with an attorney.
My spouse and I want to do the divorce forms, but there are a few smaller issues on which we can’t agree. Can you help?
DashDivorce.com cannot provide any legal advice or help. You may wish to consult with an attorney or possibly a mediator about your situation.
Will my MSA hold up in Court?
If it is executed freely and properly by the parties in accordance with all applicable PA laws, it will serve as a binding contract. An MSA is fully enforceable in a Court of law and is the very document that attorneys across the state use to settle divorce issues.