Things To Consider Before Using Online Legal Services

With the rise of “do-it-yourself” type online legal service sites that claim to enable individuals to easily handle legal matters without the help of an attorney, many people have been emboldened to give it a try. These sites charge small amounts of money to provide fill in the blank form documents that allow people to handle all kinds of cases, includingCostly Online Divorce Forms divorces, without a lawyer. Though this might appear to be beneficial in some simple or amicable cases, there are a host of drawbacks that can rear their ugly heads and cause devastating problems for years to come. Let’s explore some of the potential dangers of said “do it yourself” online legal services in Tennessee as it relates to divorce:


Financial and/or other mistakes are common among those choosing to handle their own cases, and these mistakes tend to be costly. A recent article in The New York Times discussed the case of a woman who tried to file a divorce on her own using forms procured online only to be rebuffed by clerks after making a formatting error. She then had a lawyer resolve the document errors who informed her that if she simply waited a few months before filing, she would be able to claim a portion of her husband’s pension. All too often, the form documents offered for purchase or otherwise by online websites are outdated, insufficient, or simply wrong. It’s not uncommon for individuals to print and fill in such forms, only to later find themselves turned away by the Court Clerk’s Office for failing to follow the requirements set out in the Rules of Civil Procedure and family court rules – mistakes that an experienced attorney would never make.


Another problem often seen in cases where parties try and handle their own divorce cases is speed. Though you may think it will be faster to file a case on your own, it can actually end up taking much longer than anticipated. Experts say it is common for people to quickly go file a petition for divorce, only to then watch as the process bogs down, with neither party understanding the law well enough to move things along with sufficient speed. An attempt to hurry things up can actually end up costing you valuable time.

Forgotten Details

Arguably the most critical problem with attempting to handle a divorce case on your own is the possibility of forgetting or omitting crucial details that could come back to haunt you later. Parents need to be especially careful when handling divorces on their own, as parenting plans and child support calculations can be incredibly complex, and the risks associated with a vague visitation schedule are enormous. Not only can this lead to otherwise avoidable disputes between parents, but unraveling the mess later on could end up costing far more than it would have cost to simply do it right the first time with an experienced attorney.

Donna Wagner has vast experience in the area of family law within the Tennessee court system and can help simplify the divorce procedure for you. Contact her today to schedule a consultation.

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