False and misleading advertising statements that you will commonly come across: that a divorce will be done in 30 minutes, or that it costs $149, or that the entire divorce is completed “online.” All of these statements are simply untrue.
Our clients come to us every week after getting tricked out of $149, or $109 or $299 from online divorce form companies. Here are few ways their ads mislead you:
- They say your divorce is going to cost $149 or $299, and they do not tell you about the $300+ filing fee. Your divorce with the filing fee, and without a lawyer is $449-$748.
- They say they complete the divorce for you. But, they don’t. They write the forms, and you do the entire divorce by yourself.
- The ads say their forms are “guaranteed”. The court will accept the forms, but that does not mean the forms will work to protect you as a contract. No one checks for protection and enforceability unless you have a lawyer.
- The ads say your “divorce is done online”. Wrong again, you have to go to court in Texas, but they won’t be there with you when you do.
- They say you get a “caseworker” which is a person with virtually any type of educational background– this is the person in charge of dividing your life.
- The ads are not regulated by a State Bar, so unlike with lawyer ads, the public is not protected from them, except for by common law and by the Deceptive Trade and Practices Act.
- Many claim they have thousands of reviews, and they have 4.7 stars, but the alleged reviews are not with places like Google Business or Better Business Bureau where you can’t get away with faking reviews.
- The forms you are buying can be found for free.
They have to pay Google about $8.00 when you click into the ad, and when you are only paying $109 for the entire case, they really have to work to gain your trust and make sure you hire them.
Audio Clip of Attorney Megan Cook and Online Divorce Pitfalls
The full story that we hear time and time again from people that tried to get cheap divorces done online in Texas.
Online Divorce Trickery to Avoid
Compare Complete Divorce Services to Online Form Companies
We wrote this webpage to help you understand the three basic types of divorce you can get. 1. ) Traditional Retainer Divorces are used for legal battles, when you and your spouse do not agree on the terms of divorce. These typically cost $2,500-$10,000 in Texas. 2.) Uncontested Divorces With a Law Firm (what we handle at partasfriends.com) typically cost $1,300-$2,000 and are cases where you and your spouse may need some general counseling on how to divide things. You need a fast divorce and want your assets, debts and/or children properly handled by a professional during your divorce. Lawyers handle your case for you. 3.) DIY or divorce form company divorce cases typically advertise that they cost $109-$299, but really cost $409-$799 after filing fees (what we are warning you about on this page) are where you handle the entire case by yourself, and you often buy divorce forms in order to do this.
If You Take Away ONE Thing From This Webpage, it Should Be This:
Forms do not get you divorced. It takes more than 30 minutes and some online forms to get divorced in Texas. Ads that tell you otherwise, are blatantly lying to you.
What Should You Do Next?
You need to assess what type of divorce you have. It is not advisable to get divorced without a lawyer, UNLESS all of the of the following apply:
- You do not have children with your spouse;
- You do not have any assets whatsoever (whether you got them before marriage or during or after separation);
- You have been married less than 1 year;
- You know where your spouse is, and your spouse is ready willing and able to sign your papers;
- You have a lot of time to drive to court 3+ times to file documents, meet with the staff attorneys, and go to a hearing.
- You are comfortable learning about family law to the extent necessary to do your own divorce;
If all of these do not apply, I do not recommend that you do a DIY or divorce form company divorce.
You need to hire a lawyer for a traditional retainer divorce if any of the following apply to you:
- You are not sure whether your spouse will sign your papers;
- You or your children are in danger in your marriage;
- You and your spouse do not agree on how to divide any debt of either party;
- Your spouse may have assets that he or she is hiding;
- Your spouse has a substance abuse problem that impacts whether he/she should see your children;
- You and your spouse do not agree on how to divide any asset (account, car, house) of the marriage;
- You and your spouse do not agree on child support;
- You and your spouse do not agree on a custody schedule or parenting plan;
- Your spouse has hired a lawyer.
You should hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce (what we do) if all of the following apply to you:
- You and your spouse can come to an agreement on how to divide assets and debts;
- You and your spouse can come to an agreement on how to handle custody and child support;
- You know where your spouse is, and he or she is willing to sign necessary papers.
If none of these three divorce options sounds right to you, then you should set up a consultation with a lawyer in your location, and get some more advise on the best route to take.
We would be honored to answer questions you have about this webpage or about getting divorced.
(210) 271-2800 | (512) 253-4330 | [email protected]