Are Online Divorces Possible?

Websites that specialize in helping couples obtain a divorce are gaining popularity as a quick, easy, and affordable way to end a marriage. There are sites available that allows spouses to take a complete do-it-yourself approach to their divorce as well as those which lend a helping-hand by filling out the forms required to initiate divorce proceedings.

Thanks to the popularity of e-filing, many states now allow divorces to be filed online. This means, in certain situations, divorces can be initiated, filed, and fees paid for entirely online. But since all divorces are not created equal, only certain circumstances should lead couples to filing for divorce online.

Types Divorces and Online Filing

When couples have an uncontested divorce, that is, they agree on issues like property division, child custody, and support payments, filing for divorce can be done with the help of online services. Often, these websites will provide instruction in filling out forms required in your state. Sometimes, they may even have paralegal services available that will review your documents to ensure they are all properly filled out and ready to be submitted.

For those couples that are unable to agree on the issues that come up during the divorce process – support, custody, property and debt disbursement – filing online is not the best solution. These couples often need assistance settling their divorce. In the most extreme cases, it may even result in a trial. In these scenarios, a family lawyer should be consulted to help divorcing couples sort out their differences.

Remember, once you agree on a divorce settlement, whether filed online or in-person, it is difficult to make any changes to the terms you originally approved. Even if you choose the do-it-yourself approach, having an experienced family law attorney review your divorce documents before finalizing them is a good idea. They can make sure all parties’ best interests are represented and the settlement is fair and equitable.  

How to File for Divorce Online

If you and your spouse have agreed on the major issues involved in your divorce, the next step is to file for divorce. Depending on where you live, there may be several options available to you for filing online.

If your state allows e-filing, you can use their forms to initiate your divorce. Often, these are online PDFs that you will have to fill out yourself. If you’re not comfortable completing these forms on your own, you can always choose to pay a fee to a website that specializes in helping people with online legal services. They will guide you through the process of filing and may even review your documents before submitting them.

Whichever method you choose, remember to make hardcopy duplicates of your paperwork. Once you have prepared all the paperwork necessary for your uncontested divorce, you can pay the filing fee and proceed to the next steps, which usually include serving your spouse with divorce papers and finalizing a divorce agreement.

Attorney Help with Online Divorces

Before finalizing divorce, you may want to seek the services of a family law attorney. While it is convenient and easy to initiate divorce proceedings online, there is no substitute for the expertise of a divorce attorney when reviewing documents that will ultimately be used as part of a divorce decree. Seeking the services of a divorce attorney can be done after you have filled out all your forms and filed for divorce but before your divorce agreement becomes a court order. This gives you the added security of knowing your divorce is fair.

There are other options as well that can help with legal proceedings online. It is easy to schedule appointments with experienced criminal defense attorneys just by visiting a website. Legal help doesn’t always have to be in person.