It seems like you can get almost anything online. It’s fast, convenient, and sometimes a lot cheaper than going in person. But does this apply to divorce too? If your phone has been feeding you ads about online divorce services or if you’ve already considered this option yourself, you should be aware of the problems and pitfalls you may face by going this route.
Before using an online divorce service, consider the following:
1. Divorce Is Complicated
Divorce is complicated. It’s also personal. Trying to fill out and file divorce papers online can leave you vulnerable without the one-on-one attention that you’d get working with an attorney. You will need to figure out property and asset division, child custody, child support, and alimony. An online service might provide you with the paperwork for these things, and even some helpful tips on how to proceed, but you’ll be missing out on the insight and guidance that an attorney can provide. You’ll be navigating these complicated issues by yourself.
2. An Online Divorce Is Legally Binding
That’s the point, right? Of course, you want to make sure your divorce (online or not) is legally binding, but this can be a problem with an online service. This ties in with our last point, about divorce being complicated. If you make key decisions without an attorney’s insight, you might end up regretting them. Unfortunately, if you sign off on the paperwork and your divorce is finalized, you will find it hard to change things later. Divorce orders can only be changed if there is a significant enough change in circumstances to warrant a modification. Making the right choice the first time around is the best way to prevent future problems.
3. Divorce Laws Vary from State to State
Divorce laws vary from state to state and even county to county. An online divorce service may provide the paperwork to cover most primary or general laws, but you could miss something important without a local attorney to help you. You could miss a deadline, forget a key piece of paperwork, or otherwise fail to fulfill all local requirements for your divorce.
4. The Savings Won’t Outweigh the Risks
People typically choose an online divorce service because they want to save time and money. They are looking for an easier way to divorce, but sometimes the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. You may think you’re only going to spend a fraction of what you’d pay to hire a lawyer, only to run into issues that land you and your spouse in court anyway. You may think you’re going to save time by avoiding long meetings with your lawyer, only to spend even more time trying to read up on and then navigate complicated legal matters because you don’t have a lawyer to provide guidance. Unless you have an extremely simple divorce with no assets, no alimony, and no children, you are probably better off avoiding an online service.
5. After Everything, You May Still End up in Court
One of the most unfortunate results of online divorce is ending up in court anyway. After trying to avoid the stress and hassle, you end up having to come before a judge. This may happen if you make a mistake in filing your forms, if your case is particularly complicated, or if you don’t meet the divorce requirements in your area. You may even end up pulling out of an online divorce and hiring an attorney if you and your spouse cannot agree on key issues related to property, support, and custody.
Contact a Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer Today
You deserve the best guidance through every step of your divorce. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we believe in providing the personal attention and experienced counsel that every client needs. Divorce is tricky and it’s stressful. As Massachusetts divorce lawyers, our goal is to navigate the process with care, helping our clients reach resolutions that help them face bright and stable futures. To learn more, call (508) 502-7002 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you.