What's In This Article
Going through a divorce is everything but easy. You are overwhelmed with emotional anguish from separating from your partner and facing stressful divorce processes. It doesn’t help that the traditional divorce process is lengthy and expensive, which only adds to your woes.
Luckily, there is an alternative to hiring an attorney and going through spun-out court processes. You can opt for an online divorce if you and your partner agree on splitting marital property and sharing child custody.
The process is shorter, cheaper, and less stressful than typical divorce procedures. ‘
In this article, we’ll explore what an online divorce is, its processes, and how long it takes to finalize. Let’s get to it.
What is an Online Divorce?
It should be no surprise that the internet has simplified many traditional, manual, in-person processes and streamlined them into simpler online process and divorce has not been left out.
As the name suggests, online divorce is an avenue where spouses who no longer wish to be together complete the paperwork for an official divorce through the internet.
These issues, which will be part of the terms set in the divorce judgment, are:
- Child support and custody.
- Visitation time.
- Division of marital assets.
The separating couple does not need legal representation and can agree on the terms independently. However, it is essential to implore the services of a financial advisor and know of all your partners existing assets to ensure equitable sharing of marital property. It would be in your best interest.
Online divorce is an excellent choice for people with a mutual agreement to part ways and who don’t wish to have a long drawn out court battle, they just want to move on.
How to File for an Online Divorce
Filing for an online divorce is a simple, streamlined process that starts by seeking online divorce services. These internet-based companies provide all the forms you need to complete the divorce process, including a completed divorce complaint.
After opening an account on your preferred online divorce service, the website will ask you many questions to fill out the divorce documents. Thus, the website will seek information on:
- The basis of filing for divorce is usually ‘no-fault’ or irreconcilable differences leading to an unsalvageable marriage in the case of uncontested marriages.
- The number of children, if any, and their age.
- The divorcing parties’ sources of wealth and income.
- A list of all marital property, including personal assets, bank accounts, and real estate.
Ensure you gather as much financial information as possible before filing for a divorce to save time and safeguard your interests.
After you complete the questionnaire provided on the online platform, the divorce service will automatically fill in the required divorce forms. Some platforms will file the papers to court on your behalf for an additional fee, but others only go as far as offering instructions on how to file your petition.
However, online divorce services do not issue divorce judgments to terminate your union. Only a judge may do that, based on the divorce documents presented. Once the determination is published, your marriage ends, and the divorce process is over.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Depending on your finances and record keeping, gathering information to satisfy the questions presented on the online divorce service could be easy or grueling. If you have your records intact, you are good to go, but it can be time-consuming if you have to seek out relevant information.
Once you have the necessary details, it could take about an hour to fill in the questionnaire provided by your online divorce service and get your documents ready for filing.
After filing the divorce paperwork in court, the time it takes to get a judgment and finalize the process is entirely out of your hands and is dependent on other factors. You will be at the mercy of your state’s divorce laws and the backlog of cases present in court.
Depending on your state's regulations, the online divorce process could span a couple of weeks or take 18 months to finalize. Different states have different timelines and processes.
Nonetheless, courts usually fast-track online divorces since they are uncontested by either party to the marriage. As such, you can avoid court appearances and lengthy procedural matters associated with the traditional divorce processes, which hastens the process.
Although online divorces are faster than contemporary ones, some jurisdictions, such as California, have a mandatory six-month wait period before the divorce is finalized. Therefore, the process takes longer in those jurisdictions.
Why Should You Opt for Online Divorce Services?
Supposing you and your ex-spouse have agreed to have an amicable legal separation, then applying for an online divorce is your best option. It offers a streamlined trustworthy opportunity to terminate your marriage with various advantages, including:
Online divorce services are cheaper than traditional divorce processes. You do not have to pay hefty legal fees, and the online platforms offer subsidized rates for their platform. They charge around $200 – $2500, depending on the services you seek from the company.
Although the price range is relatively high, it is still cheaper than litigation, where you pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
You don’t have to appear before a judge to finalize your divorce. All you need is a stable internet connection and a laptop, and you are good to go.
You can fill the divorce documents in the comfort of your home, in a coffee shop, or wherever you deem fit.
The introduction of an online divorce and its accompanying services has eased the burden on spouses seeking severe ties legally. Online divorce platforms have cut the financial stress accompanying divorce and eased anxiety by reducing the lengthy processes of traditional divorce.
You can finalize your divorce in a couple of weeks or months, provided you and your soon-to-be ex-partner have agreed on the divorce terms.
However, the finalization of the online divorce process varies in each state due to different regulations.
Lauren Cook-McKay is the Vice President of Marketing at DivorceAnswers.com. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of San Diego and applies her training in private practice to helping couples struggling in their marriage. She believes there is hope in all marriages and strives to provide therapy to couples that will lead them back towards a loving marriage, or an amicable divorce that brings peace and closure.