With the development of IT technologies, we began to live an online life a long time ago: we talk to friends via the Internet and social media, we make purchases online and we can even file for divorce online. In the modern world, a lot of things can be done just from the comfort of home. But it is worth being attentive, an online divorce basically means that it is a service that helps the spouses prepare the divorce papers necessary for the court. But you will have to take these papers to the clerk on your own since only a small number of states allow their residents to file petitions via the Internet. Nevertheless, let’s still figure out how to file for divorce online.
1. Start your collaboration
The first step you should take is to sit down at the negotiating table with your spouse and discuss the terms of your dissolution. In order to get a simple, online divorce, a couple should not have any disagreements. Thus, the spouses must identify all the controversial issues of their termination and come to a compromise. The main disputes arise in: the division of common property, the separation of custody of minor children, as well as whether any spouse should receive alimony, in what amount and for how long. Spouses should carefully discuss all these features and find a common solution Do it as you like: chatting, emailing or by phone.
2. Meet residency requirements
Before filing for divorce, spouses need to make sure that they meet the state’s requirements for residency. Each state has its own conditions, however, they are united by the fact that before submitting documents to the court, any spouse (claimant or defendant) must live in the state for some time. For example, for California, it is 6 months, and for Texas is 3.
3. Complete papers
You need to collect all the necessary forms that meet the conditions of your divorce and fill them out. Forms vary by state or county. It is very important to fill out papers without errors, otherwise, they will be rejected by the court and you will not get a divorce. You can prepare forms online in 2 ways: study the peculiarities of the legislation and fill in everything by yourself or use the services of online divorce companies. Both methods are absolutely legal, but there have differences in price. So, if you are interested in how to file for divorce online for free, then you need to pay attention to option №1, you have to collect papers on your own and also fill them out yourself. The forms you need can be obtained from the website of your state’s judicial branch. If you do not really want to worry about your papers, it makes sense to use the services of online divorce companies that prepare all the necessary documents based on the characteristics of the marriage (the client must first provide information about his marriage, answering company questions, which generally takes no more than an hour ). How much does it cost to file for divorce online using the services of such companies? The price depends on the company and varies from $150 to $300. If you wondering how to file for divorce online with children, then the service of online divorce companies is a good solution too. They will also help spouses to prepare a Parenting Plan, but you should choose only a trusted company. In addition, some online divorces platforms can also file documents with the court instead of the client, but for an additional fee.
4. File your documents with the court
When all papers are prepared, you need to make copies and sue them. This can be done at the clerk’s office or online without leaving a home, just using the e-filling system. Nevertheless, it is worth paying attention to the fact that a limited number of states use e-filling to submit petitions, so first of all, make sure that such a possibility exists in your state. If this is not yet possible, as in most states, you need to go to court and hand over all the papers to the clerk after which he will register your case and set a date of the first hearing.
5. Work on Settlement Agreement
Another important part of filing for divorce is the preparation of the Settlement Agreement. Most likely you and your spouse have already discussed all the terms of the divorce, now it’s time to sign it on the paper. Write down in detail all your agreements regarding the resolution of controversial issues of marriage dissolution. Note that some companies that provide online divorce services offer assistance in drafting a settlement agreement, which must also be filed with the court.