Hire Divorce Lawyer or Use Online Divorce Forms?
When do you need to hire a family law attorney and when is it okay to just use an online divorce form website to save a little money? This article will provide a few pointers to help you decide whether to do it yourself or retain a divorce lawyer.
What Does it Mean to Use an Online Divorce Form Website?
Essentially, using an online form website in your divorce case means that you will represent yourself and act as your own lawyer. All of online divorce form sites have disclaimers making it clear that they are not your lawyer and are just preparing documents on your behalf. While it is your constitutional right to act as your own lawyer, there are some significant risks involved that should be evaluated before you take online route.
Additionally, you have to evaluate particular website you are dealing with. Most are national sites that offer forms that they claim will work in any state. However, every state has different laws. In other words, a California Divorce Decree will not be identical to a Texas Divorce Decree because laws of two states are not identical. So with an online divorce you are basically getting a generic form that may or may not work in your jurisdiction.
What if You Have Children?
While many of divorce form sites claim to offer forms that address necessary provisions regarding children (conservatorship, support, visitation, etc.), it is very risky to use these generic forms when you have children. You must remember that your divorce forms are being prepared using online software that simply fills in blanks with your answers to very simplistic yes/no or multiple choice questions. These answers may not necessarily fit your situation or you may not fully understand question.