Someone going through a’divorce may be tempted by the many online do-it-yourself divorces that, for a small fee, provide forms for people to fill out and file with their local family court. These sites tout the ease of their services, with the caveat of saving the cost of an attorney.
But many people who have used these services discover that the long-term price of a’do-it-yourself divorce is much more costly than what an attorney would have cost, even in simple, uncontested divorces.
One of the most common mistakes people run into concerns the forms from the online sites. People often have to redo the paperwork because the forms provided are outdated or there may be issues with the formatting. Each state, including Illinois, has’Codes of Civil Procedure that must be followed when filing divorce motions. Failure to follow those rules, which happens often with generic online paperwork, will result in a rejection of the motion by the clerk of courts.
Many people are unaware of what assets and benefits they may be entitled to, or liable for, under the law when they get divorced. Issues such as division of any property the couple own, liability for any debts they have together, and insurance and pension benefits are all matters that family law attorneys protect the best interest of their clients.
There is also the matter of child custody and child support. Many couples who divorce without attorneys draft up a parenting plan that is not specific enough, leaving both parents unprotected. The result often ends up with both parties hiring attorneys to go back to court to battle it out, something that could have been avoided with a well thought-out parenting plan.
As one family law attorney summed it up, ‘It’s like going to WebMD and deciding to treat yourself.’
If you are considering an online divorce, first contact an experienced’Batavia family law attorney for a free consultation and to learn what your other options may be.