The decision to get divorced is not an easy one to make. In fact, for most couples who divorce, they hover on the edge of making such a decision for a considerable amount of time before actually pulling the proverbial trigger.
Not only is there a deeply emotional component to this decision, but often there is also soul-crushing fear of the unknown which can paralyze even the most resolute couple from making their next move.
Most people know very little about divorce until they go through the process. This may be one of the reasons that when modern couples do arrive at the decision to dissolve their marriages, the first thing many spouses do is go to the internet to research their options.
Back in the 20th Century, the model of divorce that involves hiring attorneys and paying separate lawyers to negotiate on each party’s behalf, was the most expeditious pathway for many couples to dissolve their marriages.
Today, more savvy 21st Century couples have discovered that online divorce is even quicker because it allows them to maintain complete control over the process without the interference of an attorney, plus it saves them money. The old fashioned practice of hiring opposing lawyers is adversarial and doesn’t always serve the parties involved. It can also become expensive, considering most attorneys charge by the hour.
The modern option to dissolve a marriage is an online divorce, which provides couples with the ability to settle their own issues themselves, without hiring attorneys. Please note, however that, while this option is less expensive and less contentious than other types of divorce, an online divorce may not work for everyone.
In this article, we’ll share 5 things you should know about online divorce so you and your soon-to-be-ex can decide if this option is right for you.
1. You & Your Spouse Are in Charge
With an online divorce, you and your spouse set the rules together. This means that you both ultimately agree on things like parenting time, support, and the division and separation of any assets. Note the word “ultimately” in the preceding sentence, which allows for any communication challenges that may exist between divorcing spouses. The incentive to agree is saving money. As one well-known divorce attorney says, “…the more people argue, the more money lawyers make.”
2. Not All Online Divorce Is Equal
One of the cheapest options for an online divorce is to use what’s called a “form filler” website, which claims to provide the user with many of the forms that the courts require. According to https://www.itsovereasy.com/insights/what-is-an-online-divorce, the most popular form filler services only cost about $100 to get started.
The problem with using a form filler website, however, is that there is often no customer support and the forms may be out of date. This means they will be rejected by the court. Those sites only provide the forms, and the onus is on the spouses to make sure the forms are filled out correctly, and to file them with the court.
Using a credible online divorce site with good reviews and high-quality customer service representatives is a much safer choice. It’s even better if they guarantee that your divorce papers are filled out accurately the first time before they file them with the courts on behalf of you and your soon-to-be-former-spouse.
The pricing for a form filler is less than a service that gives you more value, but you get what you pay for, and the total cost is still thousands of dollars less than what both spouses would spend to hire their own attorneys.
3. Online Divorce Makes Figuring out Support Easy
According to research by It’s Over Easy, 24.1% of people getting a divorce are living with at least one child under the age of 18. Which is why figuring out spousal and child support is a really important part of divorce for most people.
Using an online divorce service provides both spouses with the ability to use the current formulas that the courts require for determining spousal support (alimony) and child support.
Couples dissolving their marriages online also have the freedom to agree to zero support if that is what suits their needs and is mutually acceptable. The key is both parties must be in agreement.
4. Tech Assisted Division of Assets
What each of you has, owe, make, and spend are the cornerstones of divorce. These four basic categories are the primary factors that you and your spouse will both use to determine the division of any assets and/or debts.
This is the case whether you both live in one of the nine Community Property states, or if you both reside in one of the other 41 states that follow the mode of Equitable Distribution.
5. E-filing Instead of Going to Court
In many states, electronic filing of divorce papers can be done via an online divorce. This means, depending upon where you live, that if you do your divorce online you and your spouse may never need to go to a brick-and-mortar courthouse for divorce-related matters.
As our relationships evolve, the way we navigate them is evolving. People meet online, socialize online, and there are more and more apps these days for dating online. Modern couples are familiar with technology in ways that their predecessors could not imagine and today, couples even marry online.
From smartwatches that, among myriad other tasks, can monitor our blood oxygen levels to smartphones that enable us to compute and connect with the world at large, more and more of our daily activities are done online. So in this modern age, online divorce is not only less expensive than the old-fashioned practice of hiring attorneys and battling out the details in court, online divorce is also a convenient sign of the times.