Over the past few years, the online “do it yourself” divorce industry has grown. Companies all over the United States promise to make uncontested divorces easy, affordable, and less time consuming. Some have even created apps that couples can use to manage their divorce filings. Unfortunately, couples who have attempted to use online divorce companies or apps sometimes found themselves in disastrous situations. Complexity, finances, and other factors can make any form of do-it-yourself dangerous by robbing you of the legal advice or recourses from which you can benefit. Understanding why online divorce is not always a good idea will increase your chances of making the best decision for your unique situation.
Disparity in Power
In certain marriages, one spouse has significant advantages over the other. One spouse may make substantially more money, have purchased the majority of the marital property in his or her name, or have benefited from a great deal of higher education. When a relationship is lopsided in certain areas, it can cause a disparity in power, giving one spouse an advantage over the other. The spouse who has the financial resources to afford a drawn out legal battle, or who has a better understanding of legal documents may create a divorce agreement that heavily benefits him or her at the expense of the former spouse.
Online divorce packages claim to offer all of the necessary documents for divorce at rates lower than an attorney would charge. However, online divorce companies that sell these documents cannot provide the type of customization that an attorney provides. A lawyer may start out using a template similar to the one you purchase, but he or she will make significant changes to these forms that are suited to your situation. A lawyer can also edit documents to reflect recent changes in state law or other areas that could lead to your filing being rejected as insufficient or otherwise flawed.
Though online divorce is designed to save money and require less time, that is not always what happens. Vague language or a document created using outdated laws could present problems in the future when one former spouse wants to remarried, sell property, etc. Situations involving an incorrectly filed divorce can lead to additional litigation that is more time consuming and expensive than hiring a divorce attorney would have been. Trying to save time and money during a divorce by doing it yourself can easily turn into a legally or financially complicated mess in the future.
Talk to a Professional
Divorce, even under the best of circumstances, should never be taken lightly. The help of a professional is the best way to protect yourself from unfair settlements or future legal troubles. Qualified divorce attorneys are able to ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly, your court hearings go smoothly, and that you are protected from unscrupulous spouses. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to give you the legal advice you deserve while working to protect your rights. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient Atlanta are locations.