In recent years, there have been 750,000 divorces per year in the United States.  While many of these divorces are conducted in a traditional courtroom, a growing proportion of divorces are taking place online. Other than convenience, online divorces are a fast way to move on with your life.
Traditional Divorces Versus Online Divorces
When you go to a traditional lawyer, you can end up spending $275 per hour on legal fees.  Even if you go to an inexperienced lawyer, they will typically charge $100 per hour. As a result, each spouse can expect to spend at least $10,000 on legal costs.  If the divorce is contested, this amount can go up significantly.
In comparison, online divorces are significantly cheaper. Depending on the company you use, you can pay as little as $139 for a base package. For more complicated packages, you may pay around $300.
Other than saving you money, online divorces offer a number of useful advantages. Again, your exact experience will depend on which company and package you choose. When you get an online divorce, you can generally expect the following benefits.
- Get started quickly: Once you decide that you want a divorce, you do not want to wait weeks for an appointment with a divorce attorney. With online divorce services, you can get the correct document within 24 hours. If you have a printer at home, you can even get your documents instantaneously.
- Experience less stress and pain: Divorce is generally a painful experience. Expensive legal disputes and fees can make everything worse. When an online company handles the process, you can experience less emotional strain.
- Finalize everything faster: A traditional divorce can take over a year. If your divorce is uncontested, you can finish everything as soon as your state’s waiting period has passed. As a result, you can quickly get on with your life.
- Simplify your divorce: When couples argue, everyone loses. The entire process is easier and less stressful if you do not have to spend your retirement savings on legal fees.
- Avoid lawyers: Ultimately, a lawyer has to collect legal fees to live. They have no incentive to speed up your case because they are paid by the hour. When you get a divorce online, you do not have to deal with any lawyers.
- Get online help: When people think about online services, they often assume that it is impossible to get professional help or support. In reality, many online companies provide additional support options. If you have to find a missing spouse or handle unusual paperwork, there are add-on services available.
- Save money: This is the biggest reason couples turn to online divorces. Splitting marital debts and assets is hard enough. The last thing you want to do is spend your entire savings on legal fees. With an online divorce, you do not have to.
- Avoid the courtroom: If you have to go to court, your divorce will generally cost more and take longer. Online companies offer visitation calendars and other tools, so you can keep everything civil. As a result, you are more likely to avoid the courtroom.
What Is an Online Divorce?
An online divorce is designed for couples who want an uncontested divorce. If both partners generally agree on what they want, then the entire process is fairly straightforward. You simplify have to figure out the division of community property and custody. Additionally, you will need to figure out child support payments, alimony and co-parenting agreements.
If you cannot agree on the terms of your divorce, then you will need the help of a traditional lawyer. Divorce arguments tend to become expensive quickly, so many couples try to use online services instead. Through an online divorce, you can easily prepare your divorce papers, file your case with the court and draft your settlement agreement. By compromising on the terms of your divorce, you can save a great deal of time and money.
Are Online Divorces Legal?
Most people grew up watching Hollywood movies about bitter divorces and acrimonious custody disputes. Because of this, online divorces can seem strangely civil. As long as you follow the directions in your divorce paperwork, your divorce will be legally binding.
Like a traditional divorce, online divorces determine the correct paperwork based on your state. After you turn in your paperwork, the judge will review everything. If you properly completed all of the forms, the judge will issue a dissolution of marriage. An online divorce is just as legal as a traditional divorce.
There are a variety of different divorce services available that you can choose from. Some of them are better than others. Because of this, you should take some time to research the online company you want to use. By looking up refund policies and guarantees, you can make sure that you get the best experience possible.
Who Should Use Online Divorce Services?
An online divorce may not be right for everyone. Ideally, online divorces should only be used when you are dealing with an uncontested divorce. Otherwise, the divorce is not enforceable.
Before you start your online divorce, you should consider a few factors. For example, were there any children in your marriage? How long were you married? Do you have any shared assets or debts?
If you have no children, assets or debts, an online divorce is a fast, simple option. Likewise, online divorces are easier for short-term marriages and childless couples. If you are dealing with some or all of these factors, you may need to talk to a traditional lawyer instead.
How to Find an Online Divorce Provider
Once you decide to get an online divorce, the next step is finding a company that operates in your state. Each state has different rules, so the company needs to know the right forms and processes for your region. After you have found a provider in your state, you can read through their information to see what they can do for you.
Because costs are always a factor, you should look into the fees they charge. You should also see if they have the services you need. If there are demonstrations on their website, take some time to watch them.
The website can tell you a lot about the divorce provider. A clear, detailed website often represents a company that knows what they are doing. If the website is unclear or confusing, you can expect the provider’s services to be similarly problematic.
Finally, you should make sure to work with a company that uses good encryption. At the very least, the divorce provider should have SSL encryption. You are about to send a great deal of confidential information, so the website needs strong security measures.
How Much Does an Online Divorce Cost?
The cost of an online divorce primarily depends on where you go. In general, you can expect to pay between $199 to $2,500. Ideally, your spouse should split the fee with you.
This cost is significantly better than traditional divorces. With a normal lawyer, each spouse pays their attorney around $275 per hour. Before long, these fees can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.
Other than the upfront costs, you will most likely need to pay notarization fees, court filing fees and related fees. The divorce provider may charge a flat fee for everything, or they may use a subscription model. There may also be some court fees as well. By researching these costs in advance, you can make sure that there are no financial surprises during your divorce process.