Online Divorce | Los Angeles
If you need to get an uncontested divorce in Los Angeles, California, you may have wondered why there is not a way to get your uncontested divorce through an online divorce lawyer in Los Angeles.
All service businesses that could possibly go online have done so. Even if the service in question is performed at your premises (plumber, landscaper, roofer, etc.), you still find and hire that service provider online. Very many professional services such as banking, insurance, stock trading, etc. are done fully online.
In the UK, as of 2021, ALL divorces MUST be done online through a lawyer. You can’t file on your own and you can’t go in to see the lawyer in the traditional manner. So what’s the problem in California? Why no online divorce lawyers?
California courts permit e-signing and e-filing. Court hearings are done on Zoom or similar. In the C-19 era, you don’t want to go see a lawyer and they don’t want to see you.
Why isn’t there a huge online divorce lawyer industry in California?
You may already know part of the answer if you have called around a few divorce lawyers in Los Angeles County. You probably told them that you and your spouse are in agreement in your simple case and you just need the paperwork done, reviewed and filed as painlessly and cheaply as possible.
If you did that, you discovered that most Los Angeles County divorce lawyers don’t appear to understand this whole internet thing. You probably heard fee quotes in the range of $3500 to $7500+. You were told that those fees could go much higher.
Those are dishonest fees and the lawyers quoting them are dishonest. They are using price anchoring techniques that are worthy of used-car salesmen. Those are the fees lawyers used to quote to your grandparents. There is no need to be polite to such lawyers. Just hang up. Don’t educate them.
The reason most Los Angeles County divorce lawyers are dishonest when quoting a $3500 fee for what should be 2 hours of work in an uncontested case is that while they know about the relatively new law practice technique of offering “unbundled services,” they hope you don’t.
So they speak to you only about traditional full legal representation because they know that’s where they get to bend you over. That’s where they get to charge you $450+ per hour for basic, simple repetitive work that is done by their paralegal or crunched for them by high powered divorce software often provided by Online Divorce Lawyer.
That dishonest traditional lawyer keeps you in the dark about the work that s/he actually does in your case. You are always at a disadvantage when you hire a traditional Los Angeles divorce lawyer to handle an uncontested divorce because you simply don’t know what work is involved for them and they don’t tell you.
Best Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
Unbundled Services/Limited Representation – Best Online Divorce Los Angeles
Unbundled legal services change the strategic balance between you and your divorce lawyer in an uncontested divorce. You regain the advantage because you control the services provided and the fees charged – or at least, the facts of your case do.
And there becomes a huge difference in what a lawyer can charge you when his or her scope is limited. S/he no longer has unlimited responsibility plus knowledge of how much money you have – nor the huge retainer fee and billable hour capability that traditional full service provides when they know how much money you have. And they will know how much money you have because you have to disclose that as part of the divorce process. So how smart is that?
“Unbundled” services (sometimes called “limited scope representation”) are when you hire a lawyer but only to do certain specific tasks in a case. The lawyer does not provide a traditional full representation in which s/he is responsible for the entire case.
In an uncontested divorce, for example, you would most likely do your own filing of documents at your local Los Angeles County court. You would handle the simple service of documents on your spouse by a friend or relative, 18 or older. And you would technically act as your own lawyer in the case.
The “unbundled” lawyer you hire would typically only provide you with a short strategy session, prepare your documents, review your case, highlight issues, advise you what to do about those issues and review your docs before they are filed at court. That is exactly what you want from an uncontested divorce lawyer in Los Angeles.
Usually your unbundled contract would include a certain number of phone calls or email responses. Beyond that, you would pay for any extra.
This is a highly efficient and economical way to obtain an uncontested divorce in Los Angeles County. And as long as you are made aware of the precise services that are being offered by your lawyer for his or her low flat fee and of the potential triggers to increase those fees, then you are in reasonable control of your case. It becomes more of a buyer’s market. Your lawyer’s fee is not controlled by his or her BMW payment.
Another advantage of unbundled is that should your case blow up, and sometimes they do, then you have the best divorce lawyer in Los Angeles who already knows your case and is on your team. Yes, it will cost more if your case becomes contested, but that would always have been true no matter who you hired, and you will already know what those extra fees will be.
When you hire a traditional full-service lawyer to handle your uncontested divorce, the huge fees are a certainty. If you hire an “unbundled” lawyer, those huge fees only occur if your case blows up, which usually means that your spouse unexpectedly contests the case on one or more issues.
Flat fee unbundled is so much better a strategic position for you to be in.
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Best Online Divorce Los Angeles
Uber for Uncontested Divorce – Best Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
My name is Peter O’Hanlon. I’m the CEO and founder of Online Divorce Lawyer.
Why should you even listen to what I have to say about California divorce? I’ve been a lawyer (barrister) in my native UK for over 40 years. I wrote the world’s first divorce software (for California divorce) in 1983-4. I launched California Legal Assistance Centers on June 1, 1981. I pioneered cheap divorce by mail in California. I was a founding member of the California Association of Independent Paralegals. In a joint venture, I put up the world’s first divorce online website at divorceweb.com in March 1999. I launched NetDivorce, the premier divorce online provider in California, in 1999. I was the founding director of the Online Divorce Association of America in September 2016 and I launched Online Divorce Lawyer, the REAL Uber for California uncontested divorce in November 2018.
I have been on the front line of California divorce since June 1981. I know California divorce inside out. I know what I’m talking about.
I recognized that since the beginning of the Internet, ignored and long-suffering California divorce consumers have had only three choices for their uncontested divorce cases:
- DIY: You used to be able to do your own divorce in California without professional help. There was a Nolo Press book that showed you how. That was the 1980’s. Then California divorce got complex in very many ways. A recent Insider Monkey study found California to be the second most difficult divorce process in the whole country. By the late-’80s, the Nolo Press book began to tell you in the foreword that the book could no longer be used on its own to get a divorce. Today, DIY in California divorce is a fool’s errand. You won’t succeed, particularly if you have a job or a life.
- Traditional divorce lawyers with $3500 to $7500 retainer fees that they burn through as fast as possible to get to the $450 per hour billables. No matter how simple and locked tight your uncontested case is, these old-fashioned thoroughly dishonest lawyers will scare the crap out of you with what MIGHT happen if you don’t hire them. They will tell you ANYTHING to get you to pay that retainer. A headache could be brain cancer, but it’s probably not. If you have a headache, you take an aspirin. You don’t call a neurosurgeon. If you have an uncontested divorce in California, you don’t call a $7500+ lawyer.
- Unlicensed, unregulated online divorce mills, mostly from out-of-state but many in India, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. These are completely incompetent frauds. Most of them claim a $139 “complete fee,” but when you read their terms you will find that the $139 is a subscription for the first 30 days only. They will then hit your credit card every month until you cancel. I mean every month well beyond the end of your 6-month California divorce. If you read their hundreds of Better Business Bureau complaints, you will find that you can NEVER reach the guy who is able to help you cancel. Some of these now also have ANNUAL fees as well as monthly. If you want your personal data to be cut-and-pasted by someone’s grandmother in Mumbai, this is the way to go.
It’s difficult to figure out whether the conmen in India and Ukraine are worse than the traditional lawyers in Los Angeles County. Certainly, those lawyers are more expensive. The conmen only take a few hundred dollars. Oh, and they will also screw up your divorce so that you will REALLY need a traditional lawyer to get the mess sorted.
So that was the situation Online Divorce Lawyer faced when it said, “No more. There will be a fourth option that is a Best of Both Worlds option – the convenience, low-cost and self-empowerment of online divorce PLUS the safety and security that your divorce is done by a licensed local California divorce lawyer. All at a competitive price to the Ukrainian conmen!”
Our assets were our proprietary software and other client support systems. They are bulletproof. The wicked-cool software is the much-upgraded software I wrote in 1983-4. It is superb. It crunches all issues in a California uncontested divorce. It makes no mistakes. Our various other systems – written instructions, email comms., live chat, auto case updates, online help, video help and huge knowledge base are also excellent and all developed and improved over very long periods of time.
So none of the time your Online Divorce Lawyer will spend on your case will be wasted. None of it is spent on doing repetitive things. Every minute of that time is spent in analyzing the facts of your case to check for any issues that could develop into problems and in reviewing your legal documents before they are filed at court.
Make the Lawyer Fit Your Case – Don’t Make Your Case Fit the Lawyer
That is the business model that we offer California divorce lawyers when they sign up for Online Divorce Lawyer. It’s a highly efficient model for uncontested divorce practice. It enables savvy California divorce lawyers to charge fees in the vicinity of $700-$1000 and it is what enables them to offer you, the Los Angeles County divorce consumer a much better and more valuable service than that offered by the clueless, out-of-state, unlicensed, unregulated online divorce mills or the traditional lawyer fee-gougers.
Why Not the Best of Both Worlds?
Why would you ever risk your legal and economic future by hiring an unqualified, unregulated out-of-state online divorce mill for $300-1000? They’re going to screw up your case and you will either pay for their mistakes forever or hire the best divorce lawyer in Los Angeles to clean up their mess. That’s not a cheap divorce. That’s a dumb divorce. Don’t do it! Why not just start with the best divorce lawyer in Los Angeles?
We highly commend your local Online Divorce Lawyer to you and we hope that you will reward the problem solving courage of that lawyer in your hiring decision.
Why not have the best of both worlds in your uncontested divorce? Why not hire the best online divorce lawyer in Los Angeles – who offers unbundled services at a competitive fee and who will actually conduct a legal rights checkup on your case and review your documents. Your local Online Divorce Lawyer will use the wicked-cool Online Divorce Lawyer software to crunch your data and documents and you will be using your local Online Divorce Lawyer ONLY where you need him or her. And if your case blows up, you have the insurance policy of already having the best online divorce lawyer in Los Angeles on your team and s/he already knows your case.
If the best of both worlds makes sense to you, get started by either of the following options: