What happens if you file for divorce with an attorney?If you use a divorce attorney to end your marriage, the average cost is $15,000 — with prices higher in big cities and on the East and West coasts of the United States. Usually, 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 also gaining popularity.
How to file for divorce online yourselfIncreasingly, online services like Rocket Lawyer, as 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.
Rocket Lawyer: How does it work?First off, it’s important to understand the type of advice and help you can hire via this platform.While you may not be able to use Rocket Lawyer’s online portal for complex legal issues or litigation, you can use it to connect with a lawyer for hire in your area.Rocket Lawyer is a goldmine when it comes to creating contracts, accessing legal documents, estate planning, and filing for divorce — all for a fraction of the cost it would take to hire an attorney to do this work for you.They can also help you incorporate your business and create and sign legal documents online.The website is simple and very easy to navigate.Not only can you pay for access to legal help and resources, but you can also read articles about common topics like divorce and estate planning.Rocket Lawyer offers a vast library with pretty much every legal form or document you could need.The website is also set up to help you fill out the documents you need online via a simple question and answer format.If you want to create a will, for example, you will follow the prompts and answer numerous questions.Rocket Lawyer will then use the answers you’ve provided to create your document for you.Surprisingly, some of the services Rocket Lawyer provides are offered for free.You can ask questions via online chat without paying a fee, for example. You can also email a question for free.There are FAQ pages with a variety of questions and answers available as well, and these resources can help you figure out the type of help you need.Rocket Lawyer also offers discounts when you need to hire an attorney, which you may need to do depending on the complexity of your situation.Read More: A review of My Divorce Papers (DIY divorce online)A review of My Divorce Papers (DIY divorce online)
How Much Does Rocket Lawyer Cost?Before I dive into the pricing structure of Rocket Lawyer, know that you can try it free for seven days.While a week may not be enough time to solve complex legal issues, you could easily use this free trial to create important legal documents or get very basic legal advice.During this free seven-day trial, you will receive:
- Instant access to Rocket Lawyer’s entire library of legal documents
- Document Defense protection on all of your contracts
- Secure cloud storage
- Reduced rates for your incorporation
- Free 30-minute consultations on each new legal issue
- Quick legal advice from their on-call lawyer network
- Legal documents: $19.99 per document
- Document Defense: $9.99 per document
- Ask a lawyer: $49.99 per question
- Incorporation filing: $99.95
- Registered agent service: $149.95
Rocket Lawyer: Where it falls shortOnline legal advice for a discounted rate may sound ideal, but there are a few areas where Rocket Lawyer is lacking.One example is the 30-minute consultation you get with a lawyer for each “new” legal issue you need to cover.While 30 minutes may be plenty of time to get your question addressed, keep in mind you can’t use this Q&A time to ask questions about more than one issue.This allotment of time may also be far from adequate if you have a complex situation to address and need time to explain it.Another downside has to do with cost and how Rocket Lawyer could compare with its competitors.
Will Rocket Lawyer keep your data safe?Before you hire an online lawyer or legal service, it’s important to gain an understanding of how your data will be protected.According to Rocket Lawyer, they secure your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure “in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.”And, when personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.On the flip side, the legal service notes that you are responsible for safeguarding and preventing access to your username and password.By accessing their services, you agree not to disclose your password to any third party.
Who is Rocket Lawyer best for?At the end of the day, Rocket Lawyer can be extremely helpful for a certain type of consumer — but not everyone.The ideal customer for Rocket Lawyer includes:
- Consumers who need constant access to various legal documents and don’t want to pay a separate fee each time
- People who need to speak with a lawyer for basic legal advice often
- Business owners who are always creating new contracts
- People who are capable of doing some legal research on their own
Who should skip Rocket Lawyer?Rocket Lawyer may be a great deal for some consumers, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.Before you sign up for this company, make sure it will meet your needs for a price you can afford.People who should probably skip this service include:
- People who rarely need legal advice
- The consumer who need legal documents so infrequently it would be cheaper to pay the per-document prices
- Customers who need full legal support and don’t know how to get started on their own
Is Rocket Lawyer right for you?Rocket Lawyer was created to make legal services less expensive and easier to access.Based on their success, it appears they are achieving that goal — at least part of the time.It’s nice to know there’s an online portal you can use to create legal documents or get real legal advice from a lawyer.This is obviously a huge improvement over the days when you had to call a lawyer’s office, make an appointment, and potentially pay large fees whether your problem gets solved or not.The fact that Rocket Lawyer offers a free trial is also a huge boon.Having seven days to tinker around with the website and its offerings can be advantageous if you’re thinking of joining the service but afraid to commit.A week may also be enough time to get your important legal questions answered or create a simple document you need, which could mean you get your legal issue taken care of for free.Even at $39.99 per month, Rocket Lawyer can pay for itself.Also, keep in mind that no commitment is required so you can cancel at any time.Make sure to compare all your options before you decide which way to go.With the right legal program and help, you can get unlimited legal documents and assistance for a price you can afford.
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.