Going through a divorce is often quite stressful. Even when the terms of the divorce are amicable, there is still going to be some stress over the entire situation. Every situation is different, but when you are separating your life from a person that you have been with for even a short amount of time, things can get complicated.

Many people do not want to hire a lawyer or go through the courts to get a divorce. The thought is that it is going to take too long to complete and will end up costing too much money. Recently, online divorce sites have been advertising for a quick and easy alternative to the traditional divorce process.

Why Is Online Divorce a Bad Idea?

While online services might seem like a good idea for divorce filing because they’re advertised as fast, easy, and cheap, most of the time, it is not. If you are going through a divorce and thinking about getting it done online, there are several reasons why online divorce is a bad idea. Here are several reasons why!


Some divorces such as an uncontested divorce seem relatively simple. However, even seemingly simple divorces may have a complex issue or hidden pitfall. There are several things that many people do not even consider when they first start thinking about getting a divorce.

If there are debts and assets that you and your partner share, they will need to be divided between you and your partner. For couples who have children, determining custody can be a challenge. It is essential to make sure that the visitation and custody arrangements that are made meet the best interests of the child. Child support payments and alimony also need to be considered. Common pitfalls in divorce agreements include dividing retirement accounts, handling joint debt, and dividing jointly titled assets.

An online divorce site might provide you with forms related to these things. However, they do not alert you to potential pitfalls in your case or provide you with any advice on how to make these legal decisions if you and your spouse cannot agree to terms.

On top of that, divorce laws vary from county to county and state to state which can present many issues over the long run. Without the help of a divorce lawyer, you are going to have to handle all of these complicated issues on your own and you may not be aware you are falling into a common pitfall.

Divorce Papers are Legally Binding

When you sign divorce papers, the documents that you put your signature on are legally binding. Some provisions related to the children are allowed to be modified later, such as custody or child support. Many provisions related to dividing the debts and assets can never be modified. If you are using an online divorce service, the chances are high that you are going to make some decisions that you will regret later and be unable to fix.

As mentioned, many of the decisions that need to be made about your divorce are complicated. Making these decisions without the advice of someone who is experienced in handling divorce cases means that you might end up signing papers that hurt you financially or problems that will be much more costly to try to fix later.

Laws Vary in Counties and States

The requirements for each county and in each state regarding divorce are different. Online divorce sites will provide paperwork for divorce cases that cover the primary or most general laws. However, most of these sites will not provide you with the exact details that might be required from county to county and state to state.

If you do not take the time to do your research, you might miss essential details that are necessary and have your case dismissed due to your mistakes. For this reason alone, it is almost always better to have an experienced divorce attorney with you to help ensure that you complete what is necessary and that you meet all of the requirements for the county and state where you are seeking a divorce.

Benefits Versus Costs

In most cases, the benefits of filing for a divorce online do not outweigh the costs. Most online divorce sites advertise themselves as offering a cheap and easy way to get your divorce. However, these sites still charge a fee and will not provide you with any assistance when it comes to making the complicated legal decisions that arise from a divorce.

This means that you might end up spending more time and energy trying to figure out what you need to file than you would have if you hired a lawyer for help. Also, you have to research complex legal terms and definitions regarding your case. The stress of filing for your divorce online is often much more than it would be if you hired a lawyer to help you through the process. Further, if your divorce really is rather straightforward, you can likely find a divorce attorney who will prepare the paperwork and guide you through the process for a reasonable flat fee.

Another issue that often arises with people who choose to file for divorce online is that they still have to go to court to file their documents and otherwise follow the court process, which may include setting and appearing at court hearings. If you try to file documents that are not correct or do not follow the correct court process, there is a good chance that your divorce case will get dismissed without finalizing the case, resulting in a lot of lost time and money.

Law Office of Julie Fowler, PC, LLO | Divorce Attorney Omaha

Child Custody | Child Support | Divorce Lawyers Omaha

If you are looking for an attorney in a child support case in Omaha, Nebraska or the surrounding areas (including Papillion, Bellevue, Gretna, Elkhorn, Lincoln, Nebraska City, Sarpy, Lancaster), contact our office to set up a consultation.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.