Updated: Aug 31, 2019
Many individuals looking for an inexpensive divorce on the internet are lured by promises of low prices. Generally, if it is too good to be true, it usually is. Statements that your documents are 100% guaranteed to be accepted by the court, or you will be divorced in a specific number of days are all come-on’s (not true).
Individuals using on-line companies should always understand, that they are not purchasing a divorce. They are purchasing computer generated documents based on information which has been provided and can be accepted by the court if correctly filed. In no case is this a divorce. Only a Judge can grant a divorce. Let it be clear, documents prepared by on-line companies cannot provide you with a divorce. They cannot guarantee you that if the documents are accepted by the court that a divorce will be granted to you. They cannot guarantee you that the court or a judge will provide a divorce in a specific time frame.
On-line divorce documents are a great time saving alternative’s to individuals attempting to prepare their own documents if you have a short-term marriage, no real estate, no children and not splitting retirement plans. In all other cases you should seek legal advice before proceeding. On-line document production companies are not attorneys. They cannot provide you with legal advice. They cannot represent you in court. A typical disclosure listed in small print at the bottom of their web site page is as follows:
All On-line companies have similar statements on their web sites. Most On-line production companies will have contracts which you must sign prior to their accepting your money, or producing documents for you. Read the terms and conditions carefully. If you do not agree with the “Agreement of Service”, select another company to produce documents for you.
A common misconception is, “if I don’t like the service provided, I can cancel payment by contacting my credit card company. Credit card companies will issue a temporary credit and give you back your funds. They will then allow the service provider to present a reason that the temporary credit should be reversed. In most cases where the service provider has an attorney prepared “Agreement of Service”, the credit card company reverse the temporary credit and return it to the service provider. This process can take a great deal of time and is not fair to the document company. Some document service providers will file a Small Claims lawsuit against you because of the long time frame it takes to recover their money. The suit will be for services rendered, fees, time spent for rebuttal preparation, filing fees and process service fees. If the document service provider is represented by an attorney, you will also be charged for their fees if you lose in court. This can amount to a great deal more money than if you had paid for the services you were provided.
The moral of this story is, carefully read the Agreement of Service. Stay within the terms of this agreement. Don’t use your credit card company to obtain funds that you rightfully owe, and seek legal advice before you file for a divorce.