LawDepot online divorce papers for free—a review

Divorce is never easy, especially when kids are involved. Dissolving a marriage doesn’t have to be expensive, though, thanks to the existence of do-it-yourself/online divorce websites.

Law Depot is one of the most popular online legal form companies — but can Law Depot help you with your online divorce? Yes and no. LawDepot offers a separation agreement and a handful of related documents. But at this time it does not offer a divorce document – unlike websites such as Complete Case that provide all the documents you need to build a divorce.

Full a full list of online divorce companies that do have all the papers you need to see through the end of your DIY divorce, check out our Top 10 DIY online divorce companies (and when to consider online divorce).

Spoiler alert: CompleteCase is our #1 top pick. CompleteCase:

  • A rating with Better Business Bureau
  • 100% money-back guarantee that your forms will be accepted by your local court
  • 24/7 online support

More info in our CompleteCase review >>

However, Law Depot does give you the tools to at least begin your divorce journey. Instead of paying lawyers anywhere from $100 to $1,000+ per hour, you and your soon-to-be-ex might be able to craft several crucial papers for free.

Here’s how LawDepot can help:

What is LawDepot?

LawDepot makes available hundreds of customizable legal documents for business, real estate, financial and employment, in addition to its family law services.

As noted, LawDepot doesn’t have the full suite of divorce papers required to finalize your divorce. However, Law Depot does offer some other agreements and documents that can be super-useful as you and your STBX work your way through the process.

Specifically, Law Depot has customizable documents for:

Some or all of these could be useful as you navigate the waters of separation, divorce and co-parenting.

Is Law Depot legit?

LawDepot was founded 2001, and has a 4½ star rating (out of five stars) on TrustPilot, which the site considers an “excellent” rating. It’s been rated nearly 2,900 times thus far.

The Better Business Bureau accredited LawDepot and gives the site an A+ rating. The website has a two-star rating based on 50 complaints from consumers. Many of the complaints seem to stem from users who didn’t cancel their accounts before the end of the 7-day free trial; Law Depot responded to these complaints on the BBB website and, in some cases, refunded the charges.

LawDepot has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Women's Health, Los Angeles Times and other top publications.

Is Law Depot credible and secure?

The Law Depot website states that your personal information is stored on secure servers, and that payment is encrypted to protect your credit card.

The company does not sell, rent or trade personal data.

How does LawDepot work?

LawDepot has a team of lawyers that produce and review legal forms in categories of personal, business, real estate and employment. Under the “Personal” heading is a sub-heading called “Family Law,” which includes the separation form and those other divorce-related forms.

Users click on the forms they want and customize them to their needs, then print them out. It’s pretty straightforward – and in some cases is 100% free for the user.

Is Law Depot free?

Law Depot offers a free 7-day trial. You will be asked for your credit card information upfront. After those seven days, your card will be charged. Make sure you know which documents you want to print before you start the trial.

Don’t forget to cancel, because after those seven days your credit card will be charged. A lot of the BBB complaints stemmed from being charged after the seven-day free trial.

How to get divorce papers for free, and details on how to get divorce papers notarized and served

How much does Law Depot cost?

Once you create a document, you choose a licensing option in order to be able to print it out. You can do this in one of three ways:

  • Free trial, good for one week; after that it converts to a $33-a-month subscription until you cancel.
  • 1 year pro subscription, which gives you access to hundreds of documents from which to choose; this costs $7.99 per month, but you must pay for the entire year upfront at $95.98.
  • Document, good for a set amount of time (for separation documents, it’s five years), during which time you can amend and reprint the document; there’s a flat-rate charge of $7.50 to $68 (for separation documents, it’s $35)

How to use Law Depot

  1. Go to LawDepot.com
  2. Look under “Personal” for the separation form (and any of the others and a few others that be useful.

You’ll be asked a series of questions about your situation, on topics like

  • Are the two of you currently living apart?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • Are either of you in the military?
  • Do you want the details of the separation agreement to remain in effect even after your divorce?
  • Will you want joint or sole custody?
  • Who will pay support and how much?

How property is divided in divorce (and who gets the house)

In other words, the same kinds of questions a divorce attorney would ask in order to draw up the document.

Some of these questions include information to help you determine things like support payments or division of assets. If you aren’t sure of the answer to a question, you can click on “skip this step for now” and keep filling out the document with what you do know.

3. Once you and your STBX have hammered out the details and finished filling out the document(s), you create an account by choosing one of those licensing options (one year, document or free trial). Then hit “print.”

Who is Law Depot best for?

If you and your STBX can agree on an amicable divorce, then a site like Law Depot could at least get you started. As you go through the separation agreement, you’ll be able to make decisions about your children’s well-being.

Divorce is an emotional and often painful experience. But instead of staying stuck in that pain, try to focus on what’s best for your kids. The documents from Law Depot can help you come to terms with your impending loss while making the best choices for the future.

The fact that you can save a ton of money going the DIY route is good for everybody: Neither spouse gets buried under legal debt, and the money you don’t spend on lawyers is money that can go toward things like your retirement, your kids’ education funds or a couple of nice vacations (one for you and the children, and one for you alone when the kids are with their dad).

Who shouldn’t use Law Depot

Not every divorce can be amicable, especially if there have been cases of abuse or neglect or financial shenanigans. If your marriage has issues like these, speak to a lawyer to learn about your options.

Another reason to skip the DIY/online divorce route: money. As in, your divorce involves a family-owned business or other complex financial matters.

Pros and cons of Law Depot

PROS

The site is easy to navigate.

Filling out the documents is very simple, and Law Depot offers information to help you figure out some of the thornier questions.

Law Depot customizes your documents based on the laws of your state.

The company has some other documents that could be useful in your post-divorce life, including a cohabitation agreement, a common-law partner agreement and a prenuptial agreement.

CONS

The biggest downside of LawDepot is that there’s no divorce document available. With a site like CompleteCase you get everything you need to start – and finish – your divorce, including specific instructions for how to file in your state.

If you forget to cancel the free one-week trial, you will be opting into a monthly subscription – which means an automatic $33 charge on your credit card. (And additional $33 charges in future months, if you keep forgetting to cancel the account.)

Is Law Depot a good choice?

If you’re just starting on your divorce journey, you might need a little time and a clear space in your life to figure out exactly what you want to happen next. Right now, though, you’d be smart to have an official separation agreement plus other documents spelling out the details of your child's medical treatment, visitation and any travel plans. Get a travel consent form here >>

Law Depot can give you the paperwork for all of those things, even though it can’t help you finish your divorce. The fact that you can get the documents for free (as long as you’re careful to cancel the trial subscription in time) is a great benefit.

Alternative to Law Depot: CompleteCase

If you want one-stop shopping for your divorce, Wealthy Single Mommy founder Emma Johnson rates Complete Case as the best DIY/online divorce site out there.

Not only is Complete Case easy to use, it can give you all the documents you need plus comprehensive instructions on filing them – you pay just $299. Contrast that with the average $15,000 in attorney fees you might otherwise pay. Imagine what that money could do for you and your children in the future.

Complete Case has a money-back guarantee that the court will accept your divorce papers. In the past two decades it’s helped more than 700,000 people through the divorce process.

It’s specifically for uncontested, amicable divorces – which the majority of divorce cases could be, if both parties work to think about what’s best for their kids and for any relationship the two of them will have going forward.

Which is the main thing that divorcing parents should keep in mind, whether they use Law Depot, CompleteCase or some other DIY/online divorce website. The two of you have kids in common, so there’s going to have to be some kind of connection until the children are grown – and likely beyond. Move through the divorce, and move on with your life.

Check out CompleteCase now >>

LawDepot

$7.50 to $68 per document
9

Overall

9.0/10

Pros

  • Site is easy to navigate
  • Documents based on the laws of your state
  • Deep resource for many legal documents at an affordable price
  • A BBB rated
  • Free trial

Cons

  • Limited offering, especially for divorce

About Donna Freedman

Longtime personal finance journalist Donna Freedman created the Smart Spending blog for MSN Money and has written for dozens of other publications, including The New York Times Review of Books, NerdWallet, Magnify Money, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Vox, Get Rich Slowly, All You, The Simple Dollar, the Chicago Tribune and Wise Bread. Her work has won regional and national awards. She is a member of Mensa, but people are much more impressed by the fact that she was once on the game show "Jeopardy!" Donna lives and writes in Anchorage, Alaska.

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