If you are looking for a fast and low-cost way to end your marriage, it is possible to get a divorce without an attorney.
“If you have a simple, ‘walk away’ divorce, online divorce services can be great,” says Molly Rosenblum, founding attorney of The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm in Las Vegas, Nev. “They are fast, cheap and efficient.”
3 Step Divorce is a quality divorce paper service with strong customer reviews, a 100% money-back guarantee, and its parent company, Nolo has a BBB A+ rating. Start your divorce online now for $84 at 3StepDivorce >>
While we can’t provide legal advice, we can tell you that from the standpoint as journalists and very picky consumers why 3 Step Divorce our top pick among hundreds of other online divorce paper companies. We spent many hours vetting the brands we suggest based on the following:
- High ratings
- Established business
- Excellent customer service
- Price and value, relative to competitors
- Money-back or other customer-protecting guarantees
Our 3StepDivorce.com ratings:
We like that 3StepDivorce.com is available in all 50 states:
Is 3 Step Divorce legit?
Yes, this is a legitimate divorce service business. Founded in 1997, 3 Step Divorce was recently acquired in 2021 by El Segundo, Calif.-based Internet Brands, which owns Avvo and Nolo — other big names in the online divorce space.
3 Step Divorce’s original parent company, Divorce Source, was founded in the late 1990s, making them one of the oldest divorce-help companies on the market. Between both brands, they claim to have reached more than 10 million people online over the last two decades.
3 Step Divorce has been featured by Forbes, CNN, USA Today and NPR and claims to have processed more than 750,000 forms.
Start your divorce online now for $84 at 3StepDivorce >>
Is 3Step Divorce secure?
3 Step Divorce is encrypted using a 2048-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to protect your payment information, phone number, address, and other personal data.
They also test their site daily for vulnerability clearance with McAfee Virus Protection.
They also go to great lengths to detail security features in their actual physical location — like 24/7 surveillance, alarms, locked rooms, and even reinforced floors.
Who could use 3StepDivorce
“3StepDivorce is primarily targeted at users/couples who are anticipating an uncontested divorce,” says Arwin Ataee, Sr. Product Manager of Internet Brands’ legal division.
What does that mean? As long as you are not in an abusive situation and you and your spouse generally agree on the main terms of the divorce — i.e. your assets and kids — you can use a service like 3 Step Divorce, even if you could use some mediation or legal support to work through minor disagreements.
Who should use 3 Step Divorce?
Molly Rosenblum, owner and founding attorney of The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm based in Las Vegas, says filling out forms through 3 Step Divorce is a quick and straightforward way to file if you:
- Don’t have children or shared assets
- OR you agree on how to divide assets and handle debts, alimony, and child custody
Can you use 3 Step Divorce if you have a child?
100% yes — you can use 3StepDivorce if you have kids. 3StepDivorce offers free child support worksheets and other tools to set your family up for successful co-parenting.
How does 3 Step Divorce work?
3 Step Divorce helps you get a divorce without a lawyer and puts you in control of your divorce, saving you potentially tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
I recently signed up for 3 Step Divorce to see how it stacks up against other online divorce services:
1. See if you are eligible to use 3StepDivorce.com
This took me 20 seconds. Answer three questions to make sure that you qualify to file your own papers in your county:
- Couple initiating divorce must be able to locate the spouse they are looking to get divorced from
- The couple should agree to the various terms of the divorce (asset split, kids, reasoning, etc), which is the underlying foundation of the ‘uncontested' format
- General ability to download forms and file as instructed by the site
2. Complete an initial questionnaire
The initial set of questions took me about five minutes to complete and covered:
- Filing location
- Which spouse would be filing
- Marriage date and location
- Number of children and any current pregnancies
- Military status
- Shared home, other property, and debt
- Whether alimony would be sought
3. Create your account and pay
After you’ve answered this first set of questions, you’ll be asked to select a payment plan, starting at $84:
4. Complete the detailed questionnaire
This section took me 45 minutes to complete. Make sure you have all required information on hand, including:
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance plan numbers
- Social security numbers
- Employer names/addresses
- Mortgage lender account numbers
- Retirement account numbers
3 Step Divorce’s questionnaire is longer and more detailed than other online divorce services I’ve reviewed — they even asked if my wedding was a religious ceremony. They also provide a “Question Explanation” box for each question so you accurately fill out the information.
However, I didn’t find the site very user friendly. For example, I had to fully type out the name of my state several times instead of selecting from a drop-down menu, and I had to enter my birthday and age in two separate places (most websites would calculate and autofill this information).
While 3 Step Divorce’s homepage has been recently updated, its detailed questionnaire is still on a dated website.
5. Review and download or print your forms
As you work through the questionnaire, your answers are saved securely, and you can finish answering them at your own pace.
Once you’re done answering all questions, you can immediately view your forms and make edits/print them as many times as necessary for no additional cost. If you don’t have a printer, you can have your forms sent to you for free via U.S. Priority Mail.
If you have questions along the way, 3StepDivorce's customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT at 1-888-665-6782 or [email protected]
6. File with your local courthouse
3 Step Divorce provides detailed filing instructions for your state, and you can download a fee waiver form if you are struggling financially and believe you’d be eligible for a waived filing fee:
Before you file, it can make sense to run the papers by a divorce or family law attorney to make sure that the details of your financials, property division and custody and co-parenting are all buttoned up. Many local courts also offer free mediation and other help to make sure that the papers are properly filled out and filed.
How much does 3 Step Divorce cost?
3StepDivorce's price is about the same as its competitors, but stands out for its payment plans, and 100% inclusive pricing — unlike CompleteCase, for example, there is no online storage fee. The price includes everything you need.
- Pay upfront: $299
- Minimum to get started: $84
- 2 monthly payments of $157
- 3 monthly payments of $109
- 4 monthly payments of $84
State filing fees run from $200-$500 depending on where you live.
Also, 3 Step Divorce will refund you 100% if your documents aren’t accepted by your local court.
How does 3 Step Divorce compare to traditional divorce?
This goes without saying, but a regular divorce takes a way more than three steps.
You generally wind up getting a lawyer, investing in countless hours arguing about your assets, time-sharing, spousal support, and on and on.
That can be tough on your kids, your schedule, and your wallet. That’s especially true if your divorce is at all contested.
According to GOBankingRates, the.average cost of a contested divorce that goes to trial is $20,400 — and some are much higher.
Using a site like 3StepDivorce is way cheaper, and the vast majority of couples should pursue an amicable, uncontested divorce — or mediation.
3 Step Divorce reviews from real customers
While I didn't find 3 Step Divorce's questionnaire to be very user friendly — and it took me longer to fill out than other online divorce services I've reviewed — I do have to say it was also more thorough and gave me a greater peace of mind that my forms would be filled out correctly.
Generally, customers give 3 Step Divorce positive reviews:
3 Step Divorce BBB rating
3 Step Divorce does not have its own Better Business Bureau page. However, its parent company, Nolo, has an A+ rating (accredited).
3 Step Divorce reviews on Reddit
3StepDivorce has some positive feedback from the harsh critics of Reddit:
3 Step Divorce reviews on Trustpilot
As of May 2023, more than 1,700 people reviewed 3StepDivorce on Trustpilot, giving the service an average of 3.3 out of 5 stars.
3 Step Divorce reviews from a divorce attorney
Family law attorney Holly Davis, a founding partner of law firm Kirker Davis based in Austin, Texas, focuses on high-asset divorce, business and professional divorce, custody matters, and complex litigation. She was recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 attorney in 2018 by the National Trial Lawyers Association, among other prestigious designations. This is her review of 3 Step Divorce:
“People might assume that because I'm a divorce attorney, of course I'm going to argue that this is a bad idea because I'm better off if I get to charge couples a lot of money for my services. The perceived benefit of this service is that it cuts through the red tape and hours that divorce lawyers charge. In reality, the thing that drives the costs of a divorce up is when the couple needlessly draws out a conflict, rather than doing most of the work of coming to equitable agreements on their own. When couples put their emotions aside and hammer out their own terms, they can save a lot of money.”
However, Davis points out that investing in a divorce attorney can help ensure child support calculations are accurate, marital property divided equitably, and time-sharing maximized.
“Unless you talk to a lawyer, you might check a box and be missing 30% of the time you could have with your kids,” she says.
3 Step Divorce pros and cons
Because of the network of websites associated with 3StepDivorce, you’ll have lots of reading material at your fingertips, which is one of the many “pros” of this online divorce service:
Pros of 3 Step Divorce
- Their DIY process is very fast, but you can go through the process at your own pace if you need to take some time.
- All documents relating to divorce for the couple's local court house are provided, along with instructions.
- Print your divorce papers immediately.
- Free copies for you and your spouse, mailed for free
- 3StepDivorce is less expensive. Similar services go for double the price tag, and it’s nothing compared to how much going through the traditional process would cost.
- Installments starting at $84.
- 100% money-back refund guarantee if your courthouse does not accept the papers because of something 3 Step Divorce was responsible for.
- 3StepDivorce lets you make changes to your documents whenever you need at no additional cost.
- 24/7 phone and email support.
- Online negotiation center to help you and your spouse settle issues.
- Child support calculation worksheets and guidelines.
- Marital settlement agreement.
- Custody and child support tracking tool that includes a calendar to help you manage custody, visitation and support, track events and log reports.
- “Personal divorce organizer” to document everything in a calendar and set reminders throughout your divorce process to help you stay on top of things — basically a go-to hub for easy reference.
- Encyclopedia of divorce terminology.
- Information and articles available on the site to cover topics related to an uncontested divorce, including finances, child custody, child support, property, domestic violence, spousal support, separation agreements, taxes, bankruptcy, and various other topics.
- Name-change kit if you’ve taken your spouse’s surname and want to make the process of changing your last name after the divorce a bit easier.
- “This program is a quick, easy way to prepare your divorce documents if you have no assets and no children,” Rosenblum says. “The payment plans make it a good deal, and you can fill out the forms yourself.”
Cons of 3 Step Divorce
- As 3StepDivorce itself cautions — it is not a substitute for a lawyer.
- No attorney consult—but that is the point! This is actually a pro.
- While the divorce papers are very thorough and there are no surprise fees or expenses, the package does not include name-change documents.
- “It assumes that the spouses have no disagreements,” says Todd Kotler, an attorney based in North Canton, Ohio, that focuses on family law. “The caveat is that where there are substantial assets, real property or children involved, there is seldom agreement on everything. This is where an attorney will be necessary. The potential for conflict goes up exponentially when two or more of the above factors are present.”
3StepDivorce vs. other online services
3StepDivorce.com is just one of the many filing companies. You can learn more in our reviews of online divorce services.
Bottom line: Is 3 Step Divorce a good option?
Yes, 3 Step Divorce is a good option for online divorce. The price point is attractive, and customer service reviews are high.
What to consider if you are thinking about divorce — but are not sure
Ready to file? Our guide for how to prepare for divorce
Yes, this is a legitimate business with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Founded in 1997, 3 Step Divorce was acquired in 2021 by Internet Brands, which owns Avvo and Nolo — other big names in the divorce space.
3StepDivorce's price is about the same as its competitors, but stands out for its payment plans, and 100% inclusive pricing. Pay $299 upfront or get on a payment plan for a little more.
100% yes you can use 3StepDivorce if you have kids. 3Step Divorce offers free child support worksheets and other tools to set your family up for successful co-parenting.
Im currently overseas in Korea but my current wife is in Virginia…will I still be able to use the the 3stepdivorce