Sunday, January 24th
Alternatives to Expensive Divorce Lawyers
In today's economy you hear stories of couples that can't afford to get divorced and continue to co-habitat until they either win the lottery or save enough to eventually move out. This is an unhealthy living arrangement for all parties involved and not a quality way of life. Some couples may not realize that alternatives to expensive divorce lawyers exist. A $20,000 divorce involving a long, drawn out battle between lawyers does not have to be the expectation.
There are several alternatives to divorce lawyers that you should consider:
- Mediation. At an average cost of $5,000, mediation is growing in popularity for those divorcing because it allows the couples to take charge of the negotiation process and saves significant cost over a litigated divorce. Mediation involves placing the couple in the same room to work out the details of the divorce while a mediator and other professionals serve to assist with questions and offer guidance. Lawyers will file the settlement with the courts once an agreement is provided and a judge will review for approval.
- Uncontested Divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree how to best distribute assets, liabilities, custody and any other important matter on their own and without involving both lawyers. An uncontested divorce is the preferred method as it's more cost effective, quicker and generally much less stressful. The average cost of legal fees for an uncontested divorce are $2000 with a lawyer.
- Online Divorce. In place of hiring an expensive divorce attorney, an online divorce company gives you the tools to work through the necessary legal paperwork and filings of an uncontested divorce on your own. The process involves completing a standard set of questions. Responses to the questions will create the legal paperwork necessary to file for divorce in your local courts. The completed documents are sent in 1 day to 3 weeks along with instructions on next steps and how to file. The average cost of an online divorce around $300 plus any court filing fees.
How do you choose an online divorce company? There are several factors you should consider. Some of these include:
- State Expertise. You'll want a expert in divorce law in your State just as if you were hiring a local lawyer. Look for a company that is educated in your specific State and that is able to offer accurate, and up to date legal documents. The company must also be compliant with State specific family court standards as well if children are involved. The last thing you want is your divorce to be denied or delayed as a result of bad documentation that will cost your additional money to fix. In the event that a legal question comes up you'll want to be able to rely on the response provided by the company you choose. Make sure the company has connections with lawyers in your State if additional assistance is needed.
- Customer Service. When you're going through a divorce for the first time you'll have a lot of questions that might come up or you may need reassurance that you've understood the directions correctly. Choose a company with a strong customer service team that is able to quickly, professionally and effectively assist with all of your questions. Don't hesitate to call a company first before using their services to test the skills of the customer service team and best understand how much assistance they'll provide you in the process.
- Professional Website. A well functioning website is one that will insure a seamless process. Choose an online divorce company that offers a professional website that offers clear instructions, a well functioning questionnaire, and provides all the information needed to feel confident with the process.
- Strong Reputation. A company with a solid reputation, quality customer service, and effective legal documents is more likely to provide the appropriate and necessary legal paperwork necessary to file in your local courts with no delay. Check the background of any companies your considering by using such services as the Better Business Bureau website for a rating and a history of unresolved complaints.
- Money Back Guarantee. Should out dated or inappropriate forms be completed you'll want your money back as a result of the error. Look for an online divorce company that guarantees their work or provides a money back offer. Look closely at the guarantee and make sure you completely understand what you can expect as wording can be tricky.
- Cost. Prices for divorce paperwork can vary greatly across different sites. Compare and contrast what is included in the cost of the service and if additional fees may apply. In some cases you pay for what you get, but that's not always the case with online divorce companies.
- Independent Reviews. Independent reviews are a great way to find a quality online divorce company. This information will quickly allow you to compare services, prices, website functionality, customer service and more with little effort.
In summary, an uncontested divorce completed using an online divorce company is the best way to save money on a divorce. You can anticipate saving thousands of dollars over all other standard methods of divorce. Look for a company with your State expertise, a strong customer service team, strong overall reputation, money back guarantee and a fair price before choosing a company to assist with your divorce.