The Internet has revolutionized the legal profession. More people than ever before are drafting wills and creating trust by using online programs. However, when getting a divorce, it is best to avoid online services, which carry enormous risks.
The primary appeal of an online divorce is cost. Many couples are already financially strapped, and they don’t have a lot of resources to spend on legal advice. For this reason, online divorce services look like an attractive option.
Instead of using an online service, contact a Wilmington divorce attorney for an in-office consultation.
Divorce is Not a One Size Fits All Process
Online divorce services usually provide their clients with divorce forms and not much else. Of course, you can often get these divorce forms yourself by stopping into the courthouse, so the online service is not really doing much for your $50 or so.
Furthermore, the process of getting divorced is much more complicated than putting information onto a fill-in-the-blank form. For example, you need to carefully consider how you want to divide your marital property and your marital debts.
What property you take out of the marriage carries significant consequences. For example, if you take the family home, then you will be responsible for paying property taxes, maintenance, and insurance, which are expenses many people do not think about. By contrast, if you end up taking investment accounts like a Roth IRA, they might be less expensive.
The marital debts you agree to shoulder can also have different financial impacts. For example, you can deduct home mortgage interest from your tax returns, lowering your overall tax burden. By contrast, if you agree to take over the family credit card debt, you won’t be able to deduct anything.
These are financial considerations that an online divorce service is not prepared to answer. By using their services, you might end up worse off than you otherwise would be if you hired an attorney to represent you.
Contested Divorces are High Stakes
If you have children with your spouse, then you hopefully can reach an agreement on child custody. If not, then you need to gear up for a custody fight.
An online divorce service cannot remotely prepare you for a contested divorce. Instead, you need to work closely with a lawyer who knows what evidence you need to present to a judge. The risk of losing your children is too great to take a chance with an online service that saves you some money in the short term.
Divorce Services Might Not Even be Regulated
Anyone can open a website and start accepting credit card payments for services offered. If you end up having a dispute, there is no recourse other than maybe complaining to the Better Business Bureau. Some online services might even be scams, taking your personal and financial information for identity theft purposes.
By contrast, lawyers are closely regulated by the North Carolina state bar. Any client can file a complaint with this agency, which will open an investigation.
Get the Legal Help You Need from a Wilmington Divorce Attorney
If divorce is on the horizon, secure your future by contacting a Wilmington family law attorney today. At Speaks Law Firm, we have handled all sorts of divorces, from the simplest to the most complex. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation.