What’s the real score on DIY divorce websites?
Nowadays, a number of people are opting for a “Do it yourself” divorce. This is due to the mushrooming Internet sites that permit online users to fill out divorce papers without any legal representation whatsoever. Some are even promoting assistance in helping out with the paperwork at a discounted rate. In all likelihood, Orange County, California, residents have encountered these kinds of websites at some point. Residents, especially divorcing couples, may ask, “What’s the real score on these DIY divorce websites?”
Proponents of those kinds of websites promise savings for divorcing couples since they do not have to pay lawyer fees. However, in hindsight, being unrepresented may cause more complications in divorce proceedings, and, therefore, a longer and more costly litigation may ensue.
Divorce is primarily about negotiating terms between the two sides. However, what if a spouse’s legal representative objects to a provision in the DIY divorce papers? Would the completed form stand a chance? The answer is probably no. This leaves the spouse who has used a DIY divorce at a distinct disadvantage.
Another thing to consider is that there are laws that prohibit non-lawyers from dispensing legal advice. Assistance from someone from a website in completing divorce paperwork may fall into that category, which may not sit well with a judge.
Legal representation helps to clarify terms, provisions and other divorce legal issues like spousal support and child custody. At times, legal guidance even helps to keep a spouse’s emotions in check, so decisions are made sensibly. These advantages will not be available to an individual who is only using a DIY divorce from an online site.
For a person who is hoping to save money and speed up divorce proceedings using the illusion of a DIY, it may be just that-an illusion. Orange County divorcing couples should keep in mind that in a divorce, shortcuts can be costly-figuratively and literally.
Source: Huffington Post “DIY: Why you should think twice before divorcing without a lawyer” August 14, 2013