Sometimes “cheap” gets a bad name. But here, a cheap uncontested divorce doesn’t mean you get garbage work. An uncontested divorce can be affordable, fast, and with a lawyer. Don’t trust your life to a shady “online divorce” website. See these 5 tips for the cheapest uncontested divorce . . . with a lawyer.
Tip 1: Watch out for shady divorce websites
There are a lot of divorce websites out there – sometimes it seems everyone wants to get in on the game.
But before you deal with one of those online divorce websites, there are a couple of things you should know:
- Questionable ownership: I once tried to do some research into who owns one of the popular websites. I found that it was based in Delaware, like many companies are, but then that first company was owned by another company based in India. Yes, India. And guess what? Not one lawyer’s name appeared on that website. Do you want to give your sensitive information to someone in India who made a website that claims to prepare divorce documents for every state in the country? That’s crazy.
- Strange documents: Many of the websites claim that they “guarantee” that their documents will be accepted by the court. Guess what? Judges don’t always accept their documents. In fact, I have seen documents prepared by these websites which contain information barred by the Illinois Supreme Court. For example, one document I reviewed contained a person’s name (obviously), address, birthday, driver’s license, and social security number. Does that seem like a good idea? No.
- Incomplete documents: Again, those scammy websites claim that their documents will be accepted in every court in the county. As stated above, that’s not true. But did you know they also don’t give you every document you need to get divorced in every county? So even if the documents they produce are accepted, you still will not have everything you need.
- Inability to complete the case: Online divorce websites don’t allow you to complete divorce case. You still need to properly file all the documents, get a court date, and go to court. If you go to court and you are not properly prepared, then you will need to come back again – and waste more time.
- Substantively terrible documents: Even if a website gives you all the documents you need, do you know if the settlement agreement it produced will properly protect you? I bet it won’t. The substance will probably be very deficient. I know this because I have reviewed many settlement agreements produced by those websites. Those shady online divorce websites don’t ask the questions that lawyers do, and they don’t give you any advice. They’re just trying to take your money and send you on your way.
Tip 2: Use a flat fee divorce lawyer
Those websites claim to be cheap.
But as described above, their work is often no good. Their documents can expose you to problems AFTER your divorce when you find out the settlement agreement you used doesn’t properly protected you.
That’s why you should use a flat-fee divorce lawyer for an uncontested divorce in Lake County, Illinois. When you go to the Waukegan courthouse for your divorce, a divorce lawyer provides several benefits, including but not limited to the following:
- Higher quality: The settlement you use will probably much better than something you could get online.
- Have everything you need: When you go to court for your uncontested divorce, you need certain documents. Without them, your divorce will not be finalized. Websites owned by a dubious company based in India probably don’t really know the Lake County requirements.
- Get out faster: When you go to court, lawyer’s go before people representing themselves. That helps you get out of court a lot faster, and court is crowded.
Tip 3: Make sure there’s an agreement
One thing to make sure is that you actually have an agreement without your spouse.
Here are some thins about which you need to agree (if they apply to you):
- Where kids will spend time
- Where kids will live
- Who will make major decisions in the kids’ lives
- Who gets what assets
- Who is responsible for what debt
- How any real estate will be handled, in terms of being sold
- Who will be responsible for future liabilities
- If child support will be paid, how much
- If spousal maintenance will be paid, how much
Tip 4: Don’t get into fights
If you want an uncontested divorce in Lake County, then you are probably looking forward to the day it is actually finalized in court.
But just remember – fighting with your spouse could ruin that. Leading up to an uncontested divorce, you should try to be sure not to get into fights with your spouse. If you do get into a fight, your spouse might call off the whole agreement. In that case, it doesn’t matter if your spouse has signed everything necessary for a divorce – he or she can call it off at the last minute.
So be careful.
Tip 5: Listen to your lawyer
When your retain a lawyer for a flat fee uncontested divorce in Lake County, you are generally retaining a lawyer for a certain amount of well-defined work.
Unlike a contested divorce that take a while to litigate in court, an uncontested divorce should have an unpredictable amount of work associated with it. That’s why it is possible to use a lawyer for a flat fee.
When you hire use for a flat fee, you don’t just get a website spitting out generic nonsense. You get advice and/or expertise. When you hire a lawyer, it is important to follow that lawyer’s instructions. Otherwise, there isn’t much reason to hire a lawyer in the first place.