Do You Want to Spend Your Money on a Divorce Attorney Or a Vacation?

Carrie Sue Doxsee, J.D.
4 min readFeb 6, 2022


Don’t end up having to pay an attorney for your DIY just because you didn’t list your property!

Don’t just fill out your DIY papers without help

I almost hate to take people’s money when they screw up their DIY Divorce because the mistakes are normally pretty small and if they had just had a little help understand what to do and why they have to do it, they could have used the money for a vacation instead.

There are 2 reasons that the Judge needs you to list your property and your Spouse’s property.

  1. Maintenance. The Court needs to determine if each Spouse can support themselves after the divorce and if not, can one Spouse afford to help.
  2. Equal Division of Assets and Debts. The Judge must determine if the division is “fair and not unconscionable”. How can the Judge do their job if you have not listed property for BOTH Parties?

“We are just keeping our own stuff, why do I have to list anything?”

“I don’t know what my Spouse has”.

“I just want to get a divorce… I don’t want to do all this stuff.”

Look, I don’t make the rules. I just know what the Court wants. So if you want a divorce, you have to do the things necessary to get the Judge to sign your Divorce Decree, right?

Ok, so now that we know there is no way out of putting in the effort, just how much do you need to do?

Have real estate? Need to include your legal description. Does not matter if it is non-marital property or not, but you need to list it in the right place in the paperwork.

Cars: Include Year, Make, and Model plus VIN numbers. Don’t know the info for your Spouse, put in “Spouse’s car” so it clear that your Spouse has a car, the car is going to them, and the asset is divided.

Bank accounts, retirement accounts and other financial accounts. Put in the name of the account (ex. Bank of America or the name of the retirement fund) and the last 4 digits of the account number. Same thing with your Spouse and if you don’t know the information, then just list “Spouse’s…” (ex: Checking Account, Savings Account, Retirement Account).

Personal Property: At least use categories and make sure to put in values. You don’t have to list every spoon and fork, but you can’t leave it blank. Anything that has over $500 worth of value should probably be listed separately. Values are garage sale or selling it online and not retail.

Debts: You need to list all your debts. I suggest that you add an “any other debt in Petitioner’s name” and “any other debt in Respondent’s name” into your list.

Reminder: If you don’t list something, it is not divided.

DIY does not have to be hard if you do have a simple, easy, uncontested divorce.

The problem is that it is a bit harder than filling out the paperwork for your marriage license. It is Court and legal stuff. Just because you don’t hire an attorney does not mean that you don’t have to follow the rules and do everything to the level of an attorney. The Judge is not there to walk you through the process (and they actually cannot because that is giving “legal advice”).

The truth is, if you want to DIY your Divorce, you don’t have to do it alone.

Join my DIY Divorce Prep Challenge — a 3 day live online event (about an hour each day) where I teach people what they need to know to get ready for the DIY journey. Get the crash course coaching you need to step up to the DIY Divorce starting line and finally take the first step to finishing your divorce.

Go to to register for the next Challenge Coming Soon.