Beware of Online Divorce Sites

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Beware of Online Divorce Sites

June 20 2016
By Faye Carroll

Why hiring a law firm at the outset may be more cost effective than you think!

You might decide that instead of going through all the trouble of finding and paying a lawyer you will opt for a DIY divorce or hire an online divorce service to process the paperwork for you. Although they advertise their services to be the cheapest way to get a divorce, online divorce services could end up costing you more than you would pay VIRGINIA FAMILY LAW CENTER, P.C. to file and finalize your divorce for you.  

Many “online divorce services” purport to offer the cheapest way to obtain a divorce. You should be aware, however, of what you are getting yourself into with these companies. First, all you get is a lot of paperwork mailed to you and you have to do all the work in filling it out without any explanation of how or when to do so. In addition, most of the time, the paperwork they use is either outdated, or not appropriate for your jurisdiction.

Although the process is usually straight forward in terms of having to fill in certain  documents, it is vitally important that these documents are completed properly and within the relevant timescales. Each individual case will have its own individual circumstances but one thing that we would say applies to all divorces is that it is important to get the procedure right. It can be costly to try and cut corners when it comes to ending your marriage.

Recently, a woman from Fairfax, Virginia used an online service to start her divorce. She found a website and believed their claims that she could get a divorce for two installments of $260. Unfortunately, she ended up paying $500 more in fees when the court determined the papers were not valid and that she could not use them to file her divorce. She tried to contact the online service but the divorce service would not respond to phone calls. She later learned that VIRGINIA FAMILY LAW CENTER, P.C. could file all the proper paperwork for her, finalize her divorce, as well as provide prompt answers to all of her questions during the process; for almost the same cost as the initial online fee.

Many people just don’t know is that online divorces aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Below are some things to look out for when considering an online divorce:

  • Fees: While you may think an online divorce will be cheaper, it is important to understand that whichever spouse files the divorce online is the one who is going to be responsible for all the fees.
  • State laws till apply: Divorce laws are different in every state. Even when filing online all state divorce laws still apply.
  • Beware of scams: Just like everything else on the internet there are reliable sources and unreliable sources. Make sure you do your homework and you don’t just use the first source you come across.
  • Appearing in court: You might have chosen to do an online divorce so you didn’t have to appear in a courtroom at any point during the divorce.  It is important to understand that filing an online divorce does not mean you will never have to step foot in a courtroom. If you spouse contests any part of the divorce or doesn’t agree with every aspect of the divorce you will more than likely end up in court.

Instead of taking on the stress and complications of attempting to file an online divorce by yourself, it is best to consult with an experienced divorce attorney first. Using a website to create legally binding documents can lead to divorce problems, and even greater expense than if you hired a law firm to represent you in the beginning.  

We have had many people come to VIRGINIA FAMILY LAW CENTER, P.C. for help in fixing paperwork, or completely starting over with their divorce after wasting their money on these online divorce services. Our family law experts can advise you on the legal basis upon which you can start a divorce and provide you with a full guide to the process. We can draft the court papers for you and ensure that all procedures are followed properly.

Instead of creating problems by trying to use a website as a lawyer, VIRGINIA FAMILY LAW CENTER, PC  can assist you with an uncontested divorce so you can move on with life with less stress. If you or someone you know needs advice on divorce or any other family law matter from an expert family law firm then please contact us now for a consultation: 703-865-5839.

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