Think Twice Before Using an Online Document Preparation for Your Divorce
A tech company that offers online divorce assistance is headed to Florida. The document preparation site, which allows users to prepare forms online and offers suggestions on what steps must be taken to settle their issues, promises to save users thousands of dollars in legal fees and keep their divorce out of court.
But an automated divorce, no matter how sophisticated the software purports to be, isn’t a wise decision. There are a number of reasons why you should always consult with an experienced family law attorney before choosing to file for divorce on your own.
Personalized service. No two divorces are exactly alike. But online document preparation sites treat them like they are, offering its clients a check-the-box approach to drafting legal documents. These sites can only suggest documents to prepare based on the information the user provides, which means important issues may be left unsettled because the user didn’t realize they needed to be dealt with.
An experienced divorce attorney, on the other hand, reviews all of your information and asks detailed, targeted questions to ensure that all issues are dealt with during the divorce, saving you the time and trouble of having to return to court in the future to straighten things out.
Special requirements. If your divorce is straightforward, and you and your spouse agree on all property, custody, and child support issues, then using a document preparation site may be a safe option. Unfortunately, most divorces aren’t straightforward, and most couples don’t agree on every single issue from the outset.
And even in the rare cases where they do, many issues have very technical requirements that a document preparation site cannot handle. Division of certain retirement benefits, for example, requires a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Failure to have the form properly prepared and signed by the judge will leave the non-owner spouse unable to access her share of the retirement assets – and could mean a trip to court to remedy the situation.
Experience in the laws of your state. Before being permitted to practice, every attorney must pass the Florida Bar Exam, which ensures competency to provide legal advice to clients. In addition, many attorneys complete continuing education courses each year, to make sure they remain up to date on the latest developments in their area of practice.
Document preparation sites, on the other hand, are unable to provide legal advice of any type, and there is no guarantee that the individuals drafting the software or preparing the documents are licensed to practice law in Florida – or are even attorneys, for that matter.
Remove emotions. There is no question that divorce is stressful. Emotions run high, and many people make demands or decisions based on anger and hurt feelings. The result is more acrimony than necessary. An attorney can help control your emotions and keep them out of the decision making process, ensuring that every decision is based on a firm understanding of the probable outcome of all issues related to your case, rather than a desire to “stick it to” your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Boca Raton Divorce Attorneys Offering Individual, Personalized Service
The Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Schwartz | White draw on 50 years’ combined experience handling divorce, child custody and all other family law issues. Our personalized service ensures that all of your issues will be taken care of correctly, and that you will understand all of the potential personal, financial and legal ramifications of every decision you make. We strive to settle your case amicably, but will fight when necessary in order to ensure our clients receive a fair and equitable settlement. Contact our Boca Raton office today to schedule a free initial consultation.