Use Online Divorce Whenever You Can
Online divorce is always a wise choice if you are fortunate enough to have an uncontested divorce. An uncontested California divorce is a divorce where the parties are in agreement and will not dispute any legal issue, where there is not a large marital estate, where there are no complex legal issues and there is no domestic violence or threat of domestic violence.
Avoid Unlicensed Online Divorce Mills
The whole point of online divorce in California is to keep your cost down. However, if you pay $300-$450 to an unregulated non-lawyer online divorce mill (mostly out-of-state, but some are in Ukraine, India or Mexico) and you end up paying for their mistakes forever, that’s NOT a cheap divorce.
Avoid Traditional Divorce Lawyer Churners and Grinders
Traditional California divorce lawyers want to charge you a $3500-$7500+ retainer fee and burn up that retainer as fast as possible to get you onto the $300-$450 billable hour treadmill.
That’s because they don’t know what else to do. Churning through client money is the only thing traditional California divorce lawyers have ever done. Don’t fall for it if you have an uncontested divorce. Almost all California divorce lawyers have not been among the very few competitive and savvy California divorce lawyers who have adopted online divorce as either an additional service offering or their only service offering.
Traditional lawyers will trick you into hiring them by scaring the crap out of you on some issue that could happen in your case but almost certainly won’t.
Then, when they’ve got your money, you have to disclose your assets and debts to them as part of the California divorce disclosure process. So they know EXACTLY what cash and assets you’ve got as well as your credit card balances.
All they need to do from that point is churn. Requests for Orders, Discovery Requests, Discovery Responses, Hearings, Interrogatories, Postponements, Trial Briefs, etc., etc. until your cash and assets are gone.
If your spouse has a lawyer too, the 2 lawyers will do their dance until neither one of you has cash or credit left. Then they’ll recommend that you settle your case and tell you what a great job they did.
Don’t fall for this nonsense. There are times when you will need such lawyers (and if your simple uncontested blows up, you will need such lawyers), but not in a simple uncontested California divorce.
Avoid unnecessary and dishonest lawyer churners. Know your cost up front.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
Hire a savvy, competitive local California online divorce lawyer who offers online divorce to protect your legal and economic interests and safeguard you from the high risks of unregulated online divorce mills and dishonest traditional divorce lawyer churners.
You get all of the protection of using a California online divorce lawyer at a fraction of the price of the dishonest traditional divorce lawyer churners.
And if any problem does arise, or even if your uncontested case completely blows up (very few of them do), you already have a California divorce lawyer on your team and s/he already knows your case. You only use your California divorce lawyer when you need your California divorce lawyer. And you only pay for services you need. You do not automatically overpay just because something MIGHT go wrong.
Compare your California online divorce options below before making your uncontested divorce hiring decision.
|FEATURES||Online Divorce Mill||Local Traditional Lawyer||Local Online Divorce Lawyer|
|Approximate Cost:||Most are in the range of $300-$1100; A couple are as high as $2500-$3500; Another Group Claim $139-169 is the Total Price But Has Many Hidden Fees, such as a $40 monthly storage fee , a $125 “Expedite” fee (or you have to wait 10-12 days to get your docs) or a $199 “Premium Package” Fee; Constant Up-Selling||$3500-$7500 +++ retainer fee, but then they work off that retainer at $450-$750 per hour as fast as possible to get you onto a billable hourly rate at $450-$750 per hour. All services, whether you need them or not are drastically oversold and over-charged.||$700-$1500; Each ODL Independently Owned and Operated; Compare Terms; Some ODL’s Charge Around $700-$800 for Their Basic Doc-Review Package INCLUDING Legal Advice PLUS All of the Advantages Listed Below|
|Education:||Unknown – None Required||College Degree and Law Degree||College Degree and Law Degree|
|Professional Qualifications:||None Required||Bar Exam||Bar Exam|
|Professional Association:||None||Your State’s Bar Association;||Your State’s Bar Association;|
Online Divorce Association of America
|Code of Ethics:||None||Strong Enforced State Bar Code of Ethics||Strong Enforced State Bar Code of Ethics|
|Licensing:||None||Strong State Lawyer Licensing||Strong State Lawyer Licensing|
|Continuing Legal Education:||None||Strict State Bar CLE Requirements||Strict State Bar CLE Requirements|
|Location:||Often in Another State, Ukraine, Mexico or India||Your Home Town||Your Home Town|
|Accountability:||None UNLESS they are located in your state; Maybe Through THEIR Local District Attorney or State Attorney General for Blatant Consumer Fraud, but Very Difficult For You to Pursue; Also, No DA’s in India; If Things Go Wrong, You’re On Your Own||Huge Accountability Through YOUR State’s Bar Association’s Strongly Enforced Complaint Procedure||Huge Accountability Through YOUR State’s Bar Association’s Strongly Enforced Complaint Procedure|
|Local Knowledge of Laws, Rules of Court and Local Court Policies:||Unknown; High Risk; Hit or Miss; Low-Quality Training; High Turnover of Untrained Low-level Staff||Professional-Level Knowledge of Your State’s Laws and Your County’s Rules of Court and Local Court Policies||Professional-Level Knowledge of Your State’s Laws and Your County’s Rules of Court and Local Court Policies|
|Wicked Cool Online Divorce Software:||Yes||No||Yes|
|Prepares ALL of Your Legal Docs:||No – State Forms Only – No Local County Forms – Every Case Has Local County Forms||Yes||Yes|
|Legally Able To Provide Legal Advice:||No||Yes||Yes|
|Performs An Analysis of Your Legal and Economic Rights in Your Case:||No – Not Qualified: But Doesn’t Do It Anyway; Some Will Up-Sell You to Local Lawyers for Legal Advice or Other Legal Services at ADDITIONAL cost, but Only AFTER You Are Fully Paid||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive Client Support – Returns Calls and Emails Promptly:||Generally No; Low-Quality or No Customer Support; No Reason To Provide Quality Support; High Turnover of Low-Quality Untrained Staff; You’re On Your Own||Yes – Required By Strongly Enforced Bar Code of Ethics||Yes – Required By Strongly Enforced Bar Code of Ethics|
|Available to Meet:||Never||Yes – Subject to Appointment||Yes – Subject to Appointment|
|Flat Fee:||Always Claimed, but Often There is Rampant Up-Selling of Undisclosed “Expedited” Service Or Other Add-ons; Some Fees Claimed to be Complete are MONTHLY Fees||No. Will drastically over-sell all services, whether needed or not; Will tell you that ALL additional services are required and will scare you to death about all consequences of not paying them more.||Yes; ALL Fees Must Be Disclosed In Advance And Agreed By You in Writing|
|Scalable Services:||No – If You Need Legal Advice or Additional Legal Services Such As Mediation or a QDRO, or If Your Case Blows Up, They Will Up-Sell You To a Local Lawyer Who Has Subscribed Your Zip Code and Pays for the Referral; Why Not Start With That Local Lawyer at Similar Cost and Be Covered for All Risks?||Fully Scalable – but they will attempt to scale ALL services at ALL times; They know how much money you have, and they want it. You are in a very weak position strategically.||Fully Scalable – MOST Online Divorce Lawyers Offer unbundled document review services; All offer Full Representation. Most Offer Mediation, QDRO and Other Potential Legal Services. All Costs Fully Disclosed in Writing Up-front with You, the Well-informed Client, Controlling All Costs.|