The Risks of Online Divorce Services

Posted on August 07, 2017 02:17pm
The Risks of Online Divorce Services

After you and your spouse have decided to divorce, the next step is customarily to select your respective lawyers and figure out how to proceed. However, in our modern-day society where technology is used as a shortcut for nearly every possible service, there are new online legal options available. The major selling points of online divorce services, including lower prices and in-home convenience, can be tempting indeed and may seem like a great way to fulfill your current legal necessities. However, using online legal services isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and these sites may pose more problems than they eliminate. Before choosing an online legal service, consider the risks involved and weigh your options.

How do online divorce services work?

If you have not yet heard about online divorce services, they are much like any other online aid. The service site will typically provide the appropriate divorce forms necessary for a legal divorce. Some services also offer customer support, instructional aids, and references to pertinent legal information. While it sounds helpful, the biggest setback with choosing an online divorce service is its uniformity. With an online service you are given a cookie-cutter divorce outline, and if your legal situation does not fit that mold, and many do not, you will be left to navigate the remaining legal issues alone.

The problems with a cookie-cutter divorce

The generic formula these services use often fails to supply enough paperwork or information for anyone in a more multifaceted divorce situation. That is to say, couples with numerous assets, complicated prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, medical issues, or other “complex” situations may find these sites unequal to the task.

Additionally, there can be missing components in many of the online services. But even if a site provides every document a couple needs to file for their divorce, it may still leave questions unanswered. For example, if a couple comes across any phrases or legal issues that they do not understand, they will have to research the issue on their own, or risk making legal decisions they do not fully understand. Many mistakes made in a divorce filing are not easy to fix after they’ve been recorded by the court.

Divorce is personal, the internet is not

Due to the requisite lack of personal contact in online legal services, mistakes are far too common. When you decide to go through a firm, this issue would be more easily solved. In a traditional law firm, clients are typically asked to keep a list of any questions they think of between meetings with their lawyer. This way, clients can either email or call with immediate concerns, or wait a short while to ask their questions during the next meeting with their divorce lawyer. The hands-on approach and personal advisement essential at a law firm is simply invaluable, especially in divorce cases where couples are likely to go back-and-forth on major issues like child custody, alimony, and property division. To ensure your divorce is handled properly, avoid online services and choose a firm that will provide your case with the personal attention it requires.

Contact McKinley Irvin at our Oregon office for help with your divorce.
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