SPOILER: We are lawyers. They are not.
Who needs a $400 per hour divorce lawyer on retainer who will bill you for every 3 1/2 minutes? Not everyone has the money, wants to hand over their checkbook or needs the assistance of traditional, one size-fits-all full legal representation. That’s why other options have popped up across the internet.
Enter Hello Divorce. We founded Hello Divorce because we love people, like problem solving and wanted to offer a cost-effective, high quality alternative to the status quo.
But isn’t that what online document preparers and form generating software do already?
Well kind of.
Document preparers help you complete mandatory forms necessary for divorce. You answer a series of questions and the forms are populated. You do not receive legal advice or help strategizing your case. If you’ve got a super simple divorce (think: very short term marriage, no assets or debts and no kids), an online document preparer might be all you need.
Divorce can be short or long depending on the complexity of the issues and the level of cooperation from your spouse. As much as we’d like the divorce process to be linear, it often is not. Many different forms are required along the way, many laws are relevant to your case, and sometimes court is necessary to resolve issues.
While for a small minority of people, divorce is simply plugging in words into forms and checking boxes, most of us need to be much more deliberate. But why?
Marriage is a financial contract. It can be just as difficult — if not more difficult — than dissolving a business partnership or corporation.
There are a ton of moving parts (support, property, debt, reimbursements/credits, fees, costs) and they all need to be addressed properly.
Then you add kids and emotion into the mix and, well, you’ve got a lot to carefully resolve. You CAN do this. Advances in technology and the advent of unbundled online and in-person legal services allow you to choose the option fits your budget, lifestyle, needs and goals.
While we never want to motivate you by fear (we’ll leave that to big law and insurance companies), we do want to illustrate a point so that you have some perspective on why a well-strategized divorce plan — and correctly filled out forms — are so important. Below are a few examples of what can happen if divorce forms aren’t completed with the help of sound legal advice:
- If you have an uncontested divorce but do not check the box in the Petition that requests “termination of spousal support.” Your Judge then does allow you to terminate spousal support in your divorce judgment. So what? Well, it means that the court retains the ability to order spousal support at a later time.
- If you do not include all property and debt in your Judgment, either one of you can come back to court at a later time (sometimes years later) and ask for an asset or obligation to be divided (!).
- If you do not check the box for spousal support or child support on your Petition, Response or Request for Orders, you waive the ability to request this type of financial help until and unless you revise (and re-serve) your documents.
Completing divorce forms is certainly not brain surgery. But they do need to be done correctly.
How is Hello Divorce different?
We used our knowledge of California law and procedure to create tools that provide you with the ability to skillfully and thoughtfully prepare your documents so that you can maximize your benefit and minimize your financial exposure. When that’s not enough, we offer online legal help, document review and unlimited answers to your divorce-related questions.
If you don’t even want to try to do it yourself, we offer flat-fee document preparation.
You can always find us (and our lawyer profiles) easily online. We are all lawyers who — simply put — care, and want to help. It’s in our nature!
Hello Divorce is not right for everyone separating from their spouse. Legal coaching and guided templates do not replace traditional full representation (especially when a divorce is super contested or highly complex), but it is a lot more affordable.
For most, we can help – and it’s what we’re good at!
We founded Hello Divorce because we love people, like problem solving and wanted to offer a cost-effective, high quality alternative to the status quo.
And in our quest to demystify the divorce process and family laws, we hope to do our little part in reducing and resolving conflict as opposed to escalating it for personal or professional gain. Sound optimistic? We are glass-is-half-full type of people and, frankly, our users seem to be too! Divorce is not the end of life – you never wasted your love on your spouse. Marriage worked at one point and served an important and gratifying role for a certain period of time.
Now is your chance to try out that next version of yourself. The you that takes control of your divorce and moves to the other side. See you online!