The Top 10 Divorce Questions We Get Asked During Intro Calls

Interested in scheduling your free 15-minute introductory call with a member of the Hello Divorce team? You're probably curious about what these calls are like. You can read more about preparing for your intro call here and what to expect here. Below, we've listed out answers to common questions we hear during these calls, plus questions about divorce you didn't even know you had.

We aren't going to lawyer up, but do we need a mediator?

You only need a mediator if you and your soon-to-be ex can't come to an agreement on a particular issue (e.g. how much child support or whether or not the house will be sold. If you think you are going to be able to come to agreements on all the stuff, no need to hire a mediator (at this point). Hello Divorce can prepare your paperwork.


What does a divorce mediator do?

A lawyer mediator generally is a neutral who helps you and your spouse work our areas of disagreement, and prepares and files your paperwork. The average lawyer mediator charges a retainer – approximately $5,000. If your divorce is particularly contentious or complicated, mediation can cost a lot more (but a lot less than litigation).

We aren't really fighting about anything. Is there a "quickie" divorce process?

Yes. It's called a summary dissolution, but you can only use it if you meet the qualifications. If you don't, you still have to go through an ordinary divorce and file a petition, file financial disclosures and get a final judgment and/or marital settlement agreement – but you can move through the steps a lot quicker.

Does it matter who files for divorce first?

If you file first as the petitioner, you do not get a legal advantage. However, it's nice to file first because you have a bit more control over the process. As an example, if your spouse doesn't file a response and doesn't participate at all, you can move forward in the process without their involvement.

I want to use your Divorce Navigator (think: Turbo Tax for divorce), but I don't want to file and serve all the documents. Can you help?

Yes! If you sign up for our Pro, Plus or Meditation (formally Cooperative) plans, we will file, process, and serve all of your paperwork as part of the flat rate plan (starting at $1,500 for Pro and up to $3,800 for Mediation).

What is a legal document assistant (LDA)? Are they licensed to practice law?

Think of an LDA as your divorce "tour guide." They provide encouragement, keep your divorce on track, prepare, file, and process all of your divorce forms. They cannot give legal advice. If you need or want advice, we offer access to experienced lawyers in increments of 30 minutes.

What if I need help calculating support or talking about my (legal) options?

Hire a lawyer for 30 minutes or more. Your lawyer will have access to all the work you or your LDA have prepared through Hello Divorce.

Will I have to go to court?

No. As long as you can come to an agreement on all the issues pertaining to your divorce, you usually don't have to go to court. Some states require a court appearance, but that's not the same as a court date to work out the terms of your divorce (litigation).

What's the deal with waiting periods?

While you might finish your paperwork long before the state-mandated waiting period, you still won't be officially divorced until it has been a certain amount of time (usually months) from the date the divorce petition is filed and served (delivered) to your spouse.

If my spouse refuses to participate, can you still help me get divorced?

Yes. This is called a divorce by default and allows a spouse to get a divorce with zero involvement from the other spouse (after showing a judge evidence that you tried to get them to respond/participate and failed).

A few bonus questions

Your services look great. But how do I know which plan and add-ons to choose?

Schedule a free 15-minute call. We'll talk you through the options to figure out which is best for you. Or, check them out yourself at this link. If you don't see a package that works for you, no worries! Request a quote, and we will craft a package just for you.

If I have just a few questions, can you help?

Sure! You can book just 30 minutes of time with one of our vetted attorneys at a flat-rate fee. Or, you can buy a larger block of time and spread it out throughout the course of your divorce. Get legal advice by whatever method you choose: email, chat, text, call, or video conference.

What is the Divorce Navigator?

People don't usually think of DIY as a divorce option, but it is an option through our Divorce Navigator app. Whether your divorce is contested or not, you must complete the mandatory forms required, but why pay high attorney fees to fill out forms you can easily do on your own? The Divorce Navigator will guide you through your divorce, start to finish.

Watch: Hello Divorce Reviews | Feedback from recent divorce software users
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Founder, CEO & Certified Family Law Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Insights, Legal Insights
After over a decade of experience as a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mediator and law firm owner, Erin was fed up with the inefficient and adversarial “divorce corp” industry and set out to transform how consumers navigate divorce - starting with the legal process. By automating the court bureaucracy and integrating expert support along the way, Hello Divorce levels the playing field between spouses so that they can sort things out fairly and avoid missteps. Her access to justice work has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond, with awards and recognition from the likes of Women Founders Network, TechCrunch, Vice, Forbes, American Bar Association and the Pro Bono Leadership award from Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Erin lives in California with her husband and two children, and is famously terrible at board games.