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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Online Divorce

Term Definition Online Divorce - a method of getting a divorce, in which a software and/or a web-based (on-line) service helps divorcing spouses complete and prepare divorce papers, forms, and/or documents for filing with the court.
Application in Divorce An online divorce is designed for spouses who are in agreement with one another about an uncontested divorce. Under these circumstances, their divorce is a more affordable option because they can prepare their paperwork and file for divorce without a lawyer.

An on-line divorce is not designed or sold to replace the services of a lawyer. Some spouses who take advantage of what an online divorce has to offer also hire a lawyer to review the documentation before submitting it to the court. No matter what, an on-line divorce reduces legal costs.

A large number of couples using online divorce are pro se filers who feel comfortable filing for divorce without hiring a lawyer, since all issues regarding property, debt, alimony/spousal support, custody, child support, and visitation have been agreed upon.

One of the most attractive features on an on-line divorce is the ease with which the parties prepare the paperwork required as part of the filing procedure.

A very large majority of spouses using an online divorce solution are pro se filers who have researched divorce procedures, so legal advice is not required.

If one is shopping for an on-line divorce, care must be taken. The buyer must beware and choose reputable company with a history. In recent years, there have been several start-ups that provide very generic, non-state specific forms with little or no support and no filing instructions. Some on-line divorce companies provide an online solution that instantly delivers the completed forms by utilizing a web-based software application; thus the papers are available immediately for printing once the appropriate information is provided through an online questionnaire. This type of on-line divorce gives a couple the most control over their own divorce, and it is recognized as the fastest way to complete the paperwork.

Other more primitive online divorce companies collect customer information through the Internet, process the papers in-house, and then mail them to the customer. This is a more or less a traditional method of providing a divorce service, just without the office visits.

Most on-line divorce companies do not provide legal advice. They can direct a party in the right direction, but legal help is rarely, if ever, included since it requires a licensed attorney.

A majority of spouses deciding to do their own divorce have already become knowledgeable as to what may or may not be involved, so legal advice is rarely needed.

See Pro Se Divorce; Noncontested Divorce.

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