If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you might have noticed ads for online divorce services. You pay a flat fee, fill out the forms and end up with a divorce in just a few weeks.
While that may seem like an easy answer, the facts about divorce with an online service are rarely that simple.
Inability to resolve issues
If you disagree with your spouse about any issues surrounding your divorce, including property division, child support or child custody, you cannot use an online service. Typically, these flat-fee products cover only uncontested divorces. If you have an uncontested divorce, the service may not be compatible with the divorce process in your local court.
Lack of protection
Some online divorce services simply take the money and run. Even when you use a reputable service, your divorce paperwork may not receive review from an attorney or even a paralegal. If your forms have errors, you will be on the hook for the cost and time involved in correcting these issues. For example, the court may reject your paperwork, in which case you must start from scratch. In addition, some mistakes will have legal implications, such as loss of certain rights or property.
Online divorce services may work for couples with no shared assets or debts and no children. Otherwise, attempting this type of divorce will likely result in a court appearance as you have to untangle the issues caused by incomplete or incorrect paperwork. Most people need the peace of mind and protection that come with a traditional divorce with direct attorney representation.