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Online Divorce?

December 20, 2012

Are Online Divorces Worth It?

Maybe the most familiar online divorce today is Legal Zoom.  Why not pay $600.00 for a an  “online divorce”? In my personal opinion this (or any other mass produced) online divorce service isn’t even ethical to market as a reasonable alternative for self-help divorces.  Why do I feel this way?  Mostly because I have seen worn out and frustrated couples walk through Go Divorce Clinic’s door with their thick stack of Legal Zoom “instructions” and cookie-cutter forms designed to try and address every possible situation a divorce could conjure.  Then they sheepishly ask me to please help them finish their divorce because they are completely lost.

Legal Gloom

The first Legal Zoom refugee couple (as I have come to call them) that walked through my door presented me with a plethora of forms and instructions that when I read through them, made even my head spin.  Consider that every state has it’s own family law code that is unique to that state.  There is no uniform federal family law code that applies to every state.  Each state has it’s own codes and statutes that address divorce.  On top of that, each jurisdiction (counties in California) have their own local rules generated by the Courts in that particular area that change and evolve routinely.     Our home office is in Sonoma County.   Now imagine an internet company like Legal Zoom marketing to every divorcing couple in the entire country, trying to create forms that must meet all 50 state’s differing form requirements, in addition to trying to anticipate and conform to each jurisdictions local rules and ever-updating procedural protocols.  Getting the picture?  It’s a shotgun approach that puts the responsibility on the consumer to learn not just what their own state and local rules are, but requires them also to read through the volume of “instructional” material that Legal Zoom sends out; information that attempts to address every legal and circumstantial possibility that each individual divorce might present – much of which will invariably not relate to your particular case – but you will have to wade through it all to get to what does relate to your case.  The feedback I get from clients that tried it here in Santa Rosa, Ca. and then came to my office, is that it is “overwhelming and confusing”.  That is why they are in my office, now willingly paying Go Divorce Clinic our affordable flat fee to process their divorce, and… wishing they had just come to us first.

Can I talk To A Human That Can Help Me Please?

Getting a packet of legal forms and an instruction manual shipped out from some distribution point somewhere in the United States to a distressed couple trying to negotiate a marriage dissolution on their own is to me just as absurd as it sounds.  At Go Divorce Clinic you get the benefit of having human beings skilled and trained in estate asset and debt allocation, spousal support issues, rights and responsibilities, child custody and support (if applicable) at your service.   We understand also the incredible value of having a neutral divorce facilitator assigned to each case to act as a general stabilizing presence to the couple through the process of divorce in addition to all the paperwork, filing and service issues.  There are so many other benefits too.  Do online divorce services suggest or offer to its consumers a Default divorce process which I use to save my clients $435.00 in filing fees?  Does any online service address the local rules in your particular California County of Jurisdiction by tailoring your marriage settlement agreement language to suit and conform to that? Do online services help you procure a fee waiver by first letting you know you may qualify, and then by filling the required forms out for you?  If your paperwork is kicked back by the family Court examiners because it does not conform, was submitted untimely, or refused as improperly prepared, who will be there to be accountable for the error?   Who can personally assist you that operates daily immersed in your particular jurisdiction to make it right?  If your online service does not, you may be stuck because the Court Clerks cannot by law tell you how to fill out your forms or correct them for you.  They can only tell you that they are not correct.  You need someone who knows the system where you live to help you directly.

Go Divorce Clinic Vision

I created Go Divorce Clinic for couples divorcing in Sonoma County because I recognized that the process of divorce requires professional assistance on many levels.   I felt that divorce lawyers were charging way too much, but also that too many family law attorneys didn’t really meet the actual and varied needs of those couples moving through this significant life transition we call divorce.  In most cases it is my observation that family law attorneys in general simply lack a broader skill set and training that would allow them to field all the needs a divorcing couple faces, including conflict resolution training, child development education, and formal mediation credentialing, just to name a few.  A divorce kit from the internet is in my estimation several steps below even lawyer assisted divorce because even though its cheaper, there is no one to be accountable except you the consumer when things don’t work out or go right.  Go Divorce Clinic is the most sensible way to divorce for many reasons, but mostly because we have become a complete resource center for divorcing couples.

Go Divorce Clinic specializes in uncontested divorce in Santa Rosa, Ca. and Sonoma County.  No one I know does it better, and we do it affordably.  Whatever you do, choose a professional person to help you and not an internet divorce kit.  I would never recommend Legal Zoom, or any online divorce kit to anyone for a divorce.  I do not even consider them viable competition in my field as I do not consider them a true “service” by my definitions. The quality and standard of service I employ to help my clients and their families is a high bar very few divorcing service providers meet.  I myself would certainly not want to try and wade through online “instruction manuals” trying to make sense of it, trying to figure out how to do my divorce while dealing with the emotional sting of my marriage ending.  No one needs that kind of frustration in the middle of such a profound life transition.  Your lives, and the significant transition of divorce you are facing merits better care than that.  Visit us today at:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com.