Many divorcing couples now avail themselves of a software and/or a web-based (on-line) service that helps them complete and prepare divorce papers, forms, and/or documents for filing with the court.
On-line divorce, designed for spouses who are in agreement with one another about an uncontested divorce, is a form of pro se litigation that costs less because they can prepare their paperwork and file for divorce without a lawyer.
An on-line divorce is not designed or sold to replace the services of a lawyer.
Some spouses use on-line divorce but also hire a lawyer to review the documentation before filing it. No matter what, an on-line divorce reduces legal costs.
Many couples using on-line divorce feel comfortable without hiring a lawyer. Since all issues regarding property, debt, alimony/spousal support, custody, child support, and visitation are settled, so legal advice is not required. On-line companies can direct a party in the right direction, but legal help is rarely, if ever, included.
One of the most attractive features on an on-line divorce is the ease of paperwork preparation.
Care must be taken, however. The buyer must beware and choose a reputable company with a history. In recent years, there have been several start-ups that provide very generic, non-state specific forms with little or no support and no filing instructions. Some on-line divorce companies provide an on-line solution that instantly delivers the completed forms by utilizing a web-based software application; thus the papers are available immediately for printing when an on-line questionnaire has been completed. This type of on-line divorce gives a couple the most control over their divorce, and it is recognized as the fastest way to complete the paperwork.
Other more primitive on-line divorce companies collect customer information through the Internet, process the papers in-house, and then mail them to the customer. This is a more or less a traditional method of providing a divorce service, just without the office visits.