How to Get a California Online Divorce Without a Lawyer
You’ve decided that it is time to get a divorce. Should you hire a lawyer? Well, it depends. Divorce lawyer attorney fees can add up quickly. From preparing the documents to file your petition, to conducting discovery and attending temporary order hearings, most lawyers receive on average $17,000 in fees at the conclusion of trial.
Fortunately, there are alternatives available online for uncontested and default divorce parties. Before hiring an attorney to represent you in a divorce, you may want to consider getting a California online divorce without a lawyer. Read on to learn more about online divorce options in California.
Uncontested Divorce Process Overview
Some situations are more suitable than others for counsel-less divorce. The most common type of divorce where counsel is not needed is an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is simple. It means that all parties agree to the divorce. It also means that all parties agree to the terms of the divorce. This includes financial and support obligations.
A contested divorce has the opposite issue. It means the parties cannot agree on issues such as child custody, spousal support, or the division of community assets and debts. As such, contested divorces tend to be complex. Consider meeting with a mediator or taking a collaborative divorce approach to settle contested matters. Unsettled matters will proceed to trial and cost you thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
California Online Divorce Options
Online divorce services usually cost less than $1,000. Some services, such as LegalZoom, will ask you a series of questions to prepare divorce documents on your behalf. Other services, such as SD Esquire, provide step-by-step video instructions on how to complete divorce forms and file them with the court.
Another alternative is using TurboCourt through the California Superior Courts. This program does not require using an attorney. Like LegalZoom, this program works through form filling. When you have completed your forms you print them out. Please note that TurboCourt only prepares the divorce petition. The software does not provide instructions on how to complete financial disclosures or final judgment forms. In addition, you will incur a fee to print the documents and file them with the court.
Important Things to Consider with an Online Divorce
An online divorce is more suitable for uncontested divorces for several reasons. Some programs require both parties to be filling out the paperwork for divorce. If you are not amicable or do not know where your spouse is this may not be for you. Further, you should consider whether you have any disagreements related to financials or support. If you cannot agree on the division of assets or debts, an online divorce may not be for you. If you cannot agree on marital or child support an online divorce may not be for you. Complicated issues often need a third party to help resolve them. Online divorces do not provide this assistance. Alternatively, if you have no issues with either of those you may be perfectly okay with an online divorce option. The less complex the divorce the more suitable it is for an online divorce.
Save Time & $$$ with an Online Divorce
What are some other considerations for an online divorce? Timing; online divorces are much more likely to take less time than an attorney-assisted divorce. This is because you are not an attorney’s only client. When you file for an online divorce you are in control of the process. The quicker you go, the quicker the process goes. Similarly, an online divorce likely costs significantly less than hiring an attorney. Divorce with the help of an attorney may cost you between $5,000 and $10,000. Even with the additional filing fees, online programs are much less than that.
Regardless of the reasoning behind filing for an online divorce it is possible to do so with without an attorney. The main decision-making will be deciding which program to go with to best suit your needs. Start with an uncontested divorce and evaluate the different online divorce options. Once you have narrowed things down to a program that you would like to you use the rest is easy. Find a program, fill out the forms, and file your papers. It really is just that simple to do all by yourself.
SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service
SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services to pro se litigants. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce. Our attorney will serve as a third-party neutral mediator. Our flat fee legal document preparation services start at $495 for Summary Dissolution and $695 for standard divorce.
We also provide an California Online Divorce Course that provides pro se parties with detailed video instructions on how to complete a California divorce. Our course starts at $99 per month. We also prepare the legal documents for parties who would like professional assistance with filling for divorce in California. Sign up today to get started.