One of the biggest downsides to divorce – other than, hello, it’s divorce – is the major amount of effort that goes into making it happen.
Life is hard enough as it is without factoring in the exorbitant amount of time, work, heartache, and serious money that divorce requires.
My Divorce Papers is a site that helps couples easily file for divorce online.
Since 2002, they have served over 1.2 million people with their fast, easy divorce options.
My Divorce Papers offers exactly what it sounds like: complete divorce forms and attorney-approved programs and services.
While this sounds too good to be true, it has actually become one of the most popular services for online DIY divorce.
It’s easy to guess why: My Divorce Papers promises a “fast online divorce in under an hour.”
Learn more about the benefits of online divorce, along with our top 10 best DIY divorce services.
Should I file for divorce with an attorney — or online? How do I do one or the other?
If you use a divorce attorney to end your marriage, the average cost is $15,000 nationwide. Typically, each spouse hires their own lawyer, and between the two parties, an agreement is reached, and then filed in court.
Sometimes a couple agrees to use one attorney to mediate the agreement, which is a lower-conflict, and more affordable way to divorce. Collaborative divorce is gaining popularity. In this process, each spouse hires his or her own attorney, and then there is a third, neutral lawyer or other mediator works to resolve any disagreements and come to an amicable solution without going to court, and with the lowest cost and conflict possible. This is in contrast to the traditional “winner takes all” approach to divorce.
Most couples use a local divorce or family lawyer to file for divorce, even if you agree on most terms, and file yourself. It can be helpful to have an experienced attorney look over your forms.
Increasingly, online services like those listed below, as well as the huge trove of quality online information and technology improvements in the courts means that in many cases, couples can agree on terms of the divorce, create the legal documents online, and then either file the papers themselves, hire a local attorney to file the divorce papers in the courts, or some of the online, DIY divorce products include filing in their fee.
HOW TO FILE FOR DIVORCE ONLINE WITH MY DIVORCE PAPERS
The My Divorce Papers sign-up process is incredibly simple.
It’s 100% free to register with My Divorce Papers and create an account.
In fact, there’s no obligation to pay for anything until you’re almost finished with the process and ready to file.
To get started, select your state of residence and create an account.
You’ll specify whether you need to file paperwork for a divorce, an annulment, or a legal separation.
Fill out other basic questions, such as whether or not you know the location of your spouse, and whether you and your spouse are in agreement on the division of your property, assets, and any child-related matters, like custody and support.
Even if you and your spouse are at odds about these divorce-related issues, you’ll still qualify for the My Divorce Papers online divorce services.
Next, enter information about your divorce, including which partner is filing for the divorce, whether your credit was affected as a result of the marriage, your current living arrangements, and how soon you’re looking to file.
You’ll then be asked a couple of questions related to any children involved and any current pregnancies.
On the next screen, you’ll answer questions about shared and individual assets, debts, and properties, income, and employment.
Other details My Divorce Papers will ask about include military history, whether you or your spouse are already represented by an attorney if you’ve already filed for divorce in court, and how you plan to finance the divorce.
The answers you give are plugged right into your custom set of state-specific, legally binding forms.
That’s part of the simplicity of the My Divorce Papers process.
Don’t worry, though – your information is completely secure and private.
Plus, you can change your answers at any time before filing the divorce papers.
With all the changes that occur during a divorce, unlimited document changes are quite the perk.
For individuals with large estates or sizeable assets, complex finances, or major issues with reaching a negotiation, My Divorce Papers will provide a completely free consultation with a divorce lawyer right in your area.
There’s absolutely no obligation tied to this consultation, which is a great thing, though of course, the attorney in your town will likely offer to represent you for a fee.
All of the online divorce forms are filled out in real time, so once you’re finished, they’re ready for instant filing and delivery to your local courthouse.
They even explain in great detail how you should serve the papers to your spouse, which is one of the more delicate elements of the whole process.
Their guidance here is key to a successful online divorce, and they handle it wonderfully.
What does a DIY divorce online cost with My Divorce Papers?
The online divorce service costs $159 for complete divorce forms preparation.
My Divorce Papers will give you a 100% refund if their divorce forms are not accepted by your local court.
RocketLawyer allows you to buy legal documents like a divorce settlement or separation agreement for a flat fee of $49 per document. Learn more about RocketLawyer >>
CompleteCase provides all the divorce documents you need in your state, along with filing instructions, for a flat fee of $299. Check out CompleteCase now >>
DOES MY DIVORCE PAPERS WORK IN EVERY STATE?
Since every state’s divorce guidelines are different, you must choose the state(s) where you and your partner live.
This would normally involve some digging and research on your part in order to figure out the specific state regulations (and even more so if you and your partner live in separate states!).
Luckily, My Divorce Papers has an intuitive and well-documented set of resources, sans all the confusing legalese, to help you get everything squared away in a matter of minutes.
Every state’s divorce laws are different.
For example, to get a New York online divorce you must live in the state for one year prior to filing for a divorce.
New York divorce law only offers fault divorces.
They also use an equal distribution of property and do not require an official parenting plan to be on file with the divorce.
What is the difference between a fault divorce and a no-fault divorce?
One of the most significant differences among state divorce laws is whether the state recognizes a divorce as a fault divorce, a no-fault divorce, or both. In a fault divorce, the spouse filing the divorce claims the other spouse is responsible for the marriage’s demise, whereas a no-fault divorce doesn’t assign blame to either spouse.
There are varying grounds for fault divorces, like adultery, abuse, incarceration, and abandonment. (Fun fact: North Carolina and several other states recognize impotence as grounds for a fault divorce.)
Grounds for a no-fault divorce can include irreconcilable differences, living apart for a significant amount of time, and a broken marriage.
It’s important to know how to categorize your divorce, but if you have issues defining the reason, or determining whether it’s considered a fault or no-fault divorce, My Divorce Papers can help.
WHAT DOES MY DIVORCE PAPERS INCLUDE?
Every couple gets a dedicated account manager, or “case manager,” who walks you through every step of the process.
Your case manager will become familiar with your circumstances, and you’ll have access to them via phone or email any time you need help.
Other elements of divorce that can be quite tricky to navigate when filing for divorce involve kids: child custody and custody payments are big issues in many divorces.
My Divorce Papers helps families set up a Parenting Plan, which is a custody plan that is filed with a marital separation agreement or final divorce decree.
My Divorce Papers helps parents negotiate a Parenting Plan, whether the state requires one or not. Learn more about successfully co-parenting after divorce, and why it is so important for children.
The divorce services My Divorce Papers offer also include a Child Custody Calculator AND Alimony Calculator for establishing reasonable and fair payments from one spouse to the other.
This can be a real hang-up in the traditional divorce court process, but your My Divorce Papers dedicated Case Manager is trained to help you come to an agreement quickly and peacefully.
My Divorce Papers customers get access to a completely free library of divorce resources.
Their team has created an extensive video archive to help explain issues like taxes, estate planning, spousal support, child custody, and how to serve your spouse with divorce papers.
Get your maiden name back with My Divorce Papers’ free name change service for wives!
That’s one less thing to figure out – and each thing taken off your plate will be a huge relief at a time like this.
PROS/CONS OF MY DIVORCE PAPERS
- It’s quick. My Divorce Papers boasts that their document-filing process can be completed in under an hour! Plus, no waiting on an attorney or the slow, bureaucratic courthouse process.
- All states are covered, and My Divorce Papers provides state-specific filing instructions, requirements, explanations, and forms.
- My Divorce Papers costs less than the average divorce by speeding up the process and eliminating pricey legal fees. In a $30 billion divorce industry, getting completely prepared divorce forms online for $159 is a great deal.
- My Divorce Papers has a BBB rating of B and has been accredited since 2011.
- Everything is legally-binding. In fact, My Divorce Papers guarantees that your forms will be accepted by the court or you get your money back.
- Filing for divorce online isn’t always super quick. It can depend on factors like where you live, whether your state has a waiting period, whether you know where your spouse is (to serve them the papers), whether it’s a fault-based or no-fault divorce, whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, if you have big assets, like businesses, that take longer to evaluate, and if there are custody issues to dispute.
- While My Divorce Papers reportedly has great customer service and knowledgeable employees, there’s something to be said for a face-to-face conversation with legal advisement. For some, however, the removal of that human element is a relief during such a private and personal time.
SO, SHOULD YOU USE MY DIVORCE PAPERS FOR YOUR ONLINE DIVORCE?
DIY divorce is here to stay, and it’s no surprise.
My Divorce Papers is a great option to take the unnecessary hassle and exhaustion out of divorce.
For couples who agree on most of the issues – custody, support, asset division – online divorce is the best, most civilized way to amicably leave a marriage with your dignity and respect intact.
Other companies to consider:
Holly Johnson is a financial expert, award-winning writer, and Indiana mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting and travel. Her personal finance articles have been published in the U. S. News, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Life Hacker. Holly is founder of of the family finance resource, ClubThrifty.com, and is the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. Learn more about Holly here.