The internet has a bittersweet connotation. It has its positives, but it also has its negatives. According to DivorceMag, 30 – 40% of marriages end in divorce because of some kind of Facebook involvement.
So perhaps the internet played a role in causing your divorce. Yet, as sad as this is, the internet can still prove valuable in a divorce. Many couples are choosing to use online divorce services, instead of traditional divorce means. Online divorce services are attractive to lots of couples because it eliminates much of the hassle and is much cheaper. But should you use an online divorce service?
In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of getting an annulment over the internet. Then you can decide whether or not you should use an online divorce service.
The advantages of online divorce
- Online divorce services are much cheaper than a traditional divorce. The costs can range between $139 – $500 in total.
- Expedited procedures and services.
- You are in control of how and when you file your papers.
- Online divorce is faster.
- Eliminates the hassle of the paperwork.
The Disadvantages of online divorce.
- It’s not for everyone, as you can only use online divorce services for uncontested divorces.
- You might receive documentation that is out of date, which won’t be admissible in court.
- Loss of rights or assets that are not listed in the paperwork.
Who should seek out an online divorce?
Online divorce is ideal for couples who have only been married for a short period of time, or for those who don’t have many assets and debts to organize.
Online divorce can also be a feasible option if you don’t have children, as children are often a major cause of disagreement during divorce proceedings. For example, many couples end up in custody battles or have differences in opinion about maintenance and visitation rights. In these cases, you will need to use a lawyer.
But you can still seek an online divorce, even if you have children. The key is that you and your spouse must agree on all child-related issues. This is often the case for parents who decide to co-parent their children to the best of their abilities, even though they are no longer together.
So though online divorce works best for simple cases, it can still be a viable option for couples of any circumstances, so long as they have already discussed their differences and reached an agreement that works for both parties on all the terms of their divorce.
If you fit into the above category, then online divorces services can work very well for you. But if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on everything, then seeking the help of a professional divorce lawyer is a better option.
How does an online divorce work?
If you are thinking about using an online divorce service, first you should know a little bit about how they work.
There are many online divorce companies available, and like with any other kind of services, some are better than others. It is best to choose a reputable company that has been around for a while. This will ensure that they have the experience and the know-how to handle your case without causing any issues with the divorce papers.
The procedure is easy and fast. Most reputable companies follow some variant of the following three-step system:
- Determine the eligibility of your case
Couples will need to answer a few quick, basic questions to see if they qualify for a divorce via the internet. These questions usually include where you live, if you know where your spouse is if both parties are willing to get a divorce, and whether or not you have children.
- Collect marital information
If you qualify, the next step is providing information relevant to your marriage/divorce. This is usually done in the form of an online questionnaire or online survey which takes around 20 – 30 minutes to complete and can be done at your own pace. Information that will be asked will include if you have children, details about you and your spouse, assets, and debts which you might have, and any other information pertinent to your annulment.
- Acquiring the completed documentation
Once the above steps have been completed and all the supporting documents have been collected, you will need to pay a fee for the service which varies depending on the online divorce site you use. Your completed divorce documents will then be generated, and you will be able to print them out. Some sites also give you the option to have them mailed to your house.
You’ll have the opportunity to check over all the documents and even make changes if necessary. Once everything is in order and you are ready, sign the forms in the presence of a notary and file your papers with the court. As long as no issues arise, depending on which state you reside, once any mandatory waiting period has passed, you may or may not need to appear before a judge at a final hearing.
Should you get an online divorce?
The answer is really up to you. As you can see online divorce has its pros and cons. The obvious advantages are the low price, the speed of service, and the elimination of much of the hassle. But remember, if you have a complicated divorce, then hiring a lawyer might be the only option.