Can I File for Divorce Online?
If you've made the decision to file for a divorce but dread going to court, take heart: It may be possible to complete your divorce entirely online.
If you are filing for an uncontested divorce or you and your spouse will be able to complete your divorce papers without lawyers, an online divorce platform is a viable solution. But not all divorces follow this simple path. Before you file, it’s important to understand who is eligible for an online divorce. First, let’s explore what an “online divorce platform” is.
What is an online divorce platform?
Several online divorce platforms provide lawyer-free assistance to help you get a divorce. The process is simple and easy to understand: Sign up or purchase the divorce plan that fits your situation. Then, follow the directions provided. Usually, you will be asked to complete online divorce papers and other legal forms containing extensive information about your property, debt, assets, and children.
The information you provide will be auto-filled into the necessary divorce papers for your state. Once the documents have been populated, you may choose to print them or send them electronically to your online divorce platform.
One of the biggest benefits of online divorce is the ability to save money because you won’t be paying attorney fees (unless you opt for on-demand help here and there).
The Hello Divorce process
At Hello Divorce, our Divorce Navigator software guides you through each document required for your divorce. For new customers, we’ve streamlined the beginning part of our process into four simple steps:
Hello Divorce offers tiered membership choices to account for various wants, needs, and budgets. Before you select a package, ask yourself how much of the divorce process you want to handle yourself and how much you want our account managers to handle.
Once you know the answer to this question, it’ll be much easier to choose the divorce option that meets your needs.
What's the most convenient route for filing for an uncontested divorce?
While Hello Divorce handles more than just uncontested divorces, the most effective method for remaining out of court during your divorce is by filing for an uncontested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, one spouse files for divorce, and the other spouse chooses not to disagree with the statements in the divorce papers.
In most cases, a settlement agreement is struck between both spouses regarding property division and financial support. If kids are involved, the parties also agree on custody and child support issues.
Benefits of uncontested divorce
- Uncontested divorces cost less money thanks to lower fees overall.
- Stress, though still there, is minimized in an uncontested divorce.
- A lower-stress uncontested divorce makes it easier to maintain an amicable relationship with your spouse.
- This type of divorce will likely be finalized at a quicker rate than other types of divorces.
Does "entirely online" divorce mean no court appearances?
If everything goes well during an uncontested divorce, you may never be required to set foot in a courtroom. On the other hand, you may be tasked with completing an initial status conference, which involves a courtroom appearance. It’s not a high-drama experience, though; it’s an information-gathering session.
Initial status conference
This conference is scheduled with both parties and their attorneys for the purpose of identifying the case status and next steps. A judge may order an initial status conference to make sure you and your spouse are working toward an agreement and that all necessary paperwork has been filed.
Mediation: Always an option
Although you may be staying out of court, you can still choose to work with a mediator to help things go smoothly. Non-attorney divorce mediators are neutral parties with the experience and skills necessary to guide you and your spouse through disagreements that could stand in the way of your settlement.
What about contested divorces? Can they be entirely online?
The short answer to this question is no.
Because contested divorces are much more complex than uncontested ones, you will likely need to interact with professionals during the divorce process. In addition to a mediator, some of the professionals you might interact with during a contested divorce include an attorney and a certified divorce financial analyst, or CDFA.
The attorney you hire will be the one who communicates with the judge on your behalf, should your case go to trial. As for a CDFA, this professional can focus entirely on helping you make smart financial decisions as you move through your divorce.
We're here for you
Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested – and whether you complete it entirely online or must go to court – Hello Divorce is here to help.
We offer expansive solutions that allow you to navigate your divorce process with as much or as little assistance as you prefer. All membership options give you access to our Divorce Navigator software, which helps you prepare your divorce legal forms and file the necessary divorce paperwork. Account coordinators and other team members are standing by to provide assistance as well.