By Matthew T. Hovey, Esquire
As with everything else, the internet has injected itself into the arena of divorces. Someone in need of a divorce can now go online, enter some information into a website, pay a fee, and in days receive a set of divorce papers supposedly tailored to the laws of his or her state. In theory, the online method seems great because you can potentially avoid meeting with an attorney, which, lets be honest, can cost you time and money.
Unfortunately, my experience is that using the online method will inevitably cost the client more money in the end and cause the client a great deal of frustration. The online service will only provide you with one set of documents for a fee. The problem, however, is that if there are any errors in the set of documents, expect to pay a second fee. If you have any questions, expect to pay the company per call, regardless of whether you get any answers. Lastly, all you get is a set of documents—no directions on the procedure of your state.
Pennsylvania has specific timelines and requirements for obtaining a simple divorce. If you file certain documents too early, they will be rejected. If you fail to properly execute service, even if all documents are filed in the proper order at the proper time, your divorce could be rejected and the clock reset, delaying your divorce by months. The result is that a vast majority of people who try to handle the divorce without an attorney quickly find that they are in over their head and, unfortunately, wasted hundreds of dollars on an online website.
Here at Prince Law Offices, if you know anyone considering using a online website to obtain a divorce, we encourage you to urge them to reconsider. We currently offer free initial consultations and would be happy to meet with him or her and discuss both their case and the benefits of using an attorney. Using an attorney will ensure that the documents are prepared correctly, filed at the appropriate time, and, at least with our firm, someone is always available to update you on the status of the divorce and answer your questions. An initial consultation can be scheduled with our firm by calling 610-365-7033 or 877-860-5135.