italian dual citizenship: the d.i.y. approach

Rob and I are DIYing (do-it-yourself, for those that aren't familiar with the acronym) most, if not all, of the tasks associatd with moving abroad. It is just a more cost-effective route for us. That being said, we are still collecting quotes for everything. Why? It's a huge shot of confidence to know that you have saved yourself X amount of dollars. Case in point? I don't want to jinx it, but last week we filed the legal papers to get my grandfather's birth certificate amended. When I say file, I mean we wrote the petition and the proposed order ourselves and then filed them ourselves. After receiving a quote from a law firm for $1,500, we knew the best route was DIY.

We went to US Legal Forms and downloaded templates for the documents we needed to file. Then, we customized them to fit our specific situation. Clearly, Rob and I both missed our callings toward legal careers, because we spent hours debating the semantics of the documents.

There is a chance when the court clerk reviews the documents that we will need to fix certain things before they go on to the judge -- in fact, we've already mentally planned for it. But even if we have to pay the filing fees again, we are still saving around $1400 doing it ourselves. Sweet!

In many states, amending vital records is a pretty straightforward process. Not in Pennsylvania! You literally need a court order to get typos fixed. We are hoping to have the amended birth record in hand and apostilled by Christmas. Cross your fingers for us!

Lessons Learned

  1. Get quotes for everything! It's good for budgeting, as well as knowing what you may save by doing things yourself.
  2. Google like crazy -- it's almost a guarantee that someone has dealt with the same exact situation. Even the tiniest bit of insight can clarify questions that you may have.