Internet companies have and continue to revolutionize how people interact with the world from the way they prepare their taxes to how they date. Now, these companies are looking to change the way people get divorced. Tax preparation programs, DIY videos and applications that help people make all of people better off. But, do not make the mistake of thinking that these applications can replace legal advice. This article will go over what you should watch out for if you try this do-it-yourself method.
A variety of companies offer divorce filing and paperwork services for between $1,000 and $3,000. These services can be, relatively, affordable however they do not offer the same protections as a traditional law firm. It is critical that, if you use these services, you and your ex-spouse agree on most things. The moment that a serious dispute arises between the two of you then services can become a liability. Generally, these programs are best if you have no assets, no children, no retirement accounts, pensions or other complicated issue.
Another problem to watch for is that the program is generating the correct forms. Every state and even local counties have their own divorce forms. These generic national services may not direct you to the proper form which could jeopardize your divorce. There are a multitude of variations from how to value future assets, assigning debt or many other issues. These programs may gloss over the variations because it is not practical to build the many hundreds of versions required for each state and local jurisdiction. If the program improperly fills out your forms then your divorce is final, regardless if the property division was accurate.
If you are going through a divorce and are using one of these programs it will probably be beneficial to have an attorney review your forms. Divorces are complicated endeavors and, while the goal of these companies is admirable, it is also misguided. If your divorce paperwork is accepted by the court then, generally, your divorce is final regardless if your assets were properly divided or not. Be careful when using these programs, it could cost you in your divorce.
Source: CNBC, “Up next: Swipe right for a divorce,” Jessica Dickler, March 6th 2016.