• downside of using printable divorce papers

Downside of Using Printable Divorce Papers

Looking for printable divorce papers? The California Superior Court’s website offers free online divorce documents. This is helpful for people who want to file divorce without hiring an attorney. In particular, most local and California judicial court forms are free to download. People who want to file divorce can search for and print the forms they need. There is, however, a downside of using generic printable divorce papers. In reality, free divorce papers may give you exactly what you paid for – wrong forms, wrong information or both.  Furthermore, you will have no professional help. Legal forms are complex and often contain confusing language. By the same token, there are typically lots of boxes and blank spaces on the forms that make the forms even more confusing. In the event you make a mistake on a document, you will have to complete it all over again.

Mistakes and errors in divorce paperwork can also cause a multitude of problems. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of the problem until a long time into the divorce process. When this happens, you might need to amend your documents which could delay your divorce case. Although a rare occurrence and in the worst case scenario, we have seen a divorce dismissed because someone filed incorrectly prepared printable divorce papers without professional help.

Well-known online companies such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer allow consumers to download printable divorce papers for a fee. LegalZoom charges almost $1,000 for their divorce services. Furthermore, it is important to note that Rocket Lawyer offers only limited document preparation, for example, the marital settlement agreement. With this in mind, both sites may be cheaper than hiring an attorney, but the type of service they offer is really not worth the cost. This is because you are responsible for preparing all of your own paperwork and filing it with the court.

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“They were very helpful and made a complicated process easy. The staff also went the extra mile when needed. They helped me get documents submitted to the court quickly.”

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In reality, you can often get better service and hire an experienced legal document assistant for substantially less than companies such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer. As a matter of fact, the divorce services of A People’s Choice are less expensive than both, and we offer more full-service help. It is important to realize, when using online services that provide all the standard California divorce forms, it is rare when these standard documents are all those required to complete a California divorce. With this mind, below are common downsides of using printable divorce papers in California:

Printable Divorce Papers Often Contain Errors

As mentioned above, courts commonly reject online printable divorce papers. For example, some of the legal documents you download from a website may be out of date. California updates its Judicial Council forms several times a year. Unfortunately, these changes are often without notice and it typically takes several weeks or more for online websites to update their documentation.  Remember, out of date documents, when presented to the court, can be rejected. Furthermore, most sites make no warranties about their printable divorce papers and leave consumers with little recourse in the event the forms are not accepted. Remember, often these purchased printable divorce papers can be obtained for free directly through the court.

With this in mind, we recommend you contact A People’s Choice to learn more about our legal document preparation services. First and foremost, we always use the latest court approved forms.  Moreover, be assured your forms will not be rejected because they are out of date! Equally important, A People’s Choice will stay with you from the beginning of your divorce to the end of it. In other words, we will make sure your divorce case is completed!

You May Lose Your Money

Yes, you may lose your money when using printable forms from an online website. First and foremost, some company website “terms and conditions” may limit what you can do if there is a problem. For example, what can you do if the documents you received were not what you expected? Sophisticated companies may require you to go through an arbitrator to resolve disputes, a point often overlooked.  Unfortunately, these arbitrators can be biased; meaning they rely on repeat business from the companies that hire their services.  Furthermore, the outcome of an arbitrated case may not work in your favor. More often than not, If the cost is not excessive, people simply move on and take the loss of money as a learning lesson. Unfortunately, howver, some people pay alot of money for very little help. Unfortunately, we often hear stories from people who paid alot of money to an online service to get divorce help, the services were a sham, and now they have no money to get the legitimate help they need to finish their case.

Short Solutions Today Can Lead to More Trouble Tomorrow

Keep in mind, standard online forms may be okay for a divorcing couple who has no assets and debts or children. On the other hand, you will definaely need more complicated divorce forms to complete a divorce for long marriages, or marriages with children, assets and debts. In other words, you will need to prepare extra forms such as a Marital Settlement Agreement with specific language that describes how these complex issues are to be settled. For this reason, we recommend you work with an experienced legal document preparer familiar with divorces.  A reputable legal document preparer will stand behind their work. In other words, they will make sure the documents contain all the required language of the court handling your case. With this in mind, always select an experienced professional who can walk you through the divorce process from start to finish.

Remember, think twice before you download printable divorce papers and try to file divorce without professional help. Keep in mind, the divorce services offered by A Peoples Choice are not expensive.  Secondly, we provide full, hands-on help throughout the complete divorce case. Call us at 800-727-2780 to learn more about the divorce services we provide to California residents. We have staff available to answer your questions seven days a week who can help you make the right decision for your needs.

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By |2018-03-04T02:51:11+00:00March 2nd, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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