Why can’t we use divorce forms online?

Online divorce formsFor some individuals who are going through a divorce, they are tempted to try to locate divorce forms online.  The thought is they can complete these.  They can then file them and complete their divorce on their own.

For some individuals, the thought is they can keep the costs down.  The hope as well is that they can resolve the amicably without an attorney.  On some levels, one can certainly sympathize with the thought involved.

The reality, however, is finding divorce forms online and trying to use them can be dangerous for many clients.  Truth be told, some courts and/or states may have some forms online that are available for downloading for free.  If an individual wants to obtain forms, these are usually the best bet if one really wants to try this. But, still, there are numerous pitfalls and problems as will be explained below — and it certainly is not a wise decision for most.

But beyonds courts or states putting forms online for free, there are entities that can sell these forms online.  They literally have stock forms that they send to individuals in paperwork or electronic format and they make some significant money in doing so.

However, no matter the situation, the reality is that a party would have to be able to complete these forms fully and completely.  For many individuals with no legal background, this can be an extremely difficult proposition.  From listing all the marital property and debt, to putting together a divorce petition, obtaining service, constructing a parenting plan and filing financial statements as to income and expenses, this is not an easy task for most individuals.

Further, different states have different requirements.  Different counties in different states might also have their own variances.  Even in the same county, different judges might look for different items in any paperwork that is filed.

Even if a party was able to complete these forms to the satisfaction of a judge such that a judge was comfortable granting the divorce, what if there are ambiguities in these documents?  What if a critical or essential term was missed?

If that ends up being the case, the parties might end up back in court litigating these ambiguities or omitted terms.  In some circumstances, ambiguities or omitted terms can have serious consequences for clients.

Additionally, if there is not one-hundred percent agreement on all terms (custody, support, maintenance/alimon and, property and debt division and attorney’s fees), parties do not have a settled case and cannot even use any paperwork that they might find online.

The reality is that just about every party is well served by having an attorney represent them through the divorce process.  Even if the attorney is just reviewing the paperwork put together to make sure it is done correctly, and that any settlement is well thought out, this is a smart best for most individuals going through a divorce.

If you are going through a divorce and need help putting together paperwork, you can contact Stange Law Firm, PC at 1-855-805-0595.

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