Online Divorce vs Traditional Divorce in California
Filing for divorce can be expensive and time-consuming if you go through a typical legal process. When a couple opts for a traditional divorce process over online divorce, they have to pay a lawyer, mediator, and additional court fees. Since most lawyers charge between $400 – $700 per hour or more for their services, the cost of a traditional divorce can quickly skyrocket to tens of thousands of dollars.
By applying for a divorce online you won’t have to pay an attorney and you can protect yourself from unexpected headaches, conflicts, drama, time, and money. Additionally, divorce over the internet can save on transportation and help you avoid lost time from work, parking fees, and childcare expenses.
Filing for Divorce Online:
Divorce over the internet is a speedy and low-cost option for the dissolution of your marriage.
Many states make divorce forms available free of cost. If you are able to complete the forms on your own, the only cost of the divorce is mainly limited to the filing fees. However, completing the divorce forms can be difficult, and any mistakes can lead to having to start the whole process over again. Applying for divorce over the internet can keep the price low while removing the hassle and risk associated with completing the paperwork.
Important Points to Remember:
There are lots of online divorce services to choose from. It’s important to select a site that has been around a while and has a good track record of satisfied customers. Once you have selected a platform, you will have to register on the site.
Online divorce services only work for uncontested divorce cases, so before a couple applies for a divorce over the internet, there should be a discussion about all the key points of the divorce, including division of property and debts, custody and visitation arrangements, and child and spousal support. If the couple can reach an agreement without the help of outside services or legal representation, it will save them lots of money.
Filing Divorce Forms Online:
DIY online divorce allows a couple to move their divorce papers through the courts quickly. However, to complete an online divorce, the couple must have a mutually signed agreement on all the terms and conditions of the divorce and all completed forms must be notarized when they are signed.
A local attorney will charge you a fee to file your legal divorce papers in the court. Do it yourself or submit them online to save money and avoid extra expenses.
Notarize Divorce Papers Online:
State and local courts allow couples to get notarized services online instead of a personal visit. DIY divorce companies offer assistance during the process. It is better to do it yourself since courts offer services for notarizing divorce papers at their websites.
An attorney will charge a fee if you and your spouse adopt a typical legal process for notarizing your divorce paper. Moreover, you would have to spend time on hiring a lawyer and visiting local courts.
Important points of a divorce settlement agreement may include:
- Child custody (with which parent will the children live)
- Visitation rights (a schedule for the non-custodial parent to spend time with the children)
- Child support (how much each parent will contribute to the financial needs of the children)
- Rules for co-parenting (how major decisions in the upbringing of the children will be decided)
- Spousal support (if any spousal support will be provided by one spouse to the other)
- Division of property (who will keep the house or will it be sold, etc)
- Division of debts
- Division of assets
Read also: 13 Disadvantages of Divorce
Prepare a Suitable Co-Parenting Plan:
California court requires that all decisions made regarding child care and child support be in the best interests of the child. This means that the health, safety, and welfare of the child is of the utmost importance to the court. If the parents can come up with their own plan (known as a co-parenting plan) for the well-being of the child after the divorce, the court will usually accept it, so long as the best interests of the child are met.
Couples should discuss and come up with an agreement before selecting their divorce forms or contacting an online divorce service. The divorce will be more stressful and much more expensive if both spouses cannot come to an agreement on the terms of a co-parenting plan.
To help with calculating the proper amount of child support, the state of California has a child support calculator available on the court website.
If the parents cannot come up with a satisfactory co-parenting on their own, the court will decide for them. To deal with the contested situation, the spouses will have to hire attorneys which can cost thousands of dollars, possibly even tens of thousands of dollars if the case ends up in a lengthy trial.
Division of Assets:
Both parties need to be conscious of asset divisions in order to not get cheated out of their fair share.
Laws vary by state. In California, a property must be split in a fair and agreeable manner. This usually means that marital assets are divided 50/50, as both spouses contributed to all assets of the marriage.
Couples that can come to a fair and equitable division of property on their own can include their proposal in their settlement agreement as part of their online divorce.
Get Financial Support:
Either spouse may be entitled to additional financial support (known as spousal support) from the other spouse if they are unable to support themselves after a divorce. This could include situations where the custodial parent must stay home to care for the extra needs of a child or if one spouse lacks the skills or education to find work that can cover their basic needs.
Select a Mediator:
Online divorce services can assist you with all matters related to an uncontested divorce. However, if a couple is still in a disagreement over some terms of their divorce, they could seek the assistance of a mediator to help them in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, allowing them to avoid a contested case and use the services of an online divorce company.
A mediator is a neutral third party that is trained to not take sides and only guide the couple in finding common ground. There is a cost for the service, but it is much more affordable than negotiating through attorneys. And by making the divorce “uncontested” it will save tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs that are associated with a contested case.
Benefits of Submitting Online Divorce Papers:
Online divorce services can assist you in creating an appropriate co-parenting plan and settlement agreement. Therefore, the online divorce process ensures mental satisfaction during divorce, since the couple has answers to all relevant questions before filing for divorce.
Therefore, online divorce reduces the risk of conflict between couples that might arise later in the legal divorce process. Moreover, since the parents are applying for divorce according to a settled agreement, the divorce will be over as quickly as possible. Couples will save money, time, and stress by doing an online divorce.
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