NetDivorce - Affordable California Divorce

7 BEST CALIFORNIA DIVORCE CONSUMER TIPS

By Ed West
Below are the 7 most valuable current tips NetDivorce can offer new divorce consumers about how to get your divorce forms prepared in California. Whether you hire NetDivorce to handle your uncontested California divorce or not, these are useful factors to consider together with some good things to avoid. We have kept these tips as short as possible, but many of them are included in greater detail on the NetDivorce articles page.

  • Forget Face-Time: Face-time is expensive when it comes to uncontested divorce form preparation. Do you really need to sit across a desk from your uncontested divorce provider?  If you do, that's fine, but face-time is the major cost differential between online uncontested divorce providers like NetDivorce (NetDivorce: $129; other online providers: $150-300) and traditional "bricks and mortar" paralegals ($300-$600). If you can get by without face-time, you will save perhaps $100-$200 AND avoid an embarrassing interview about your personal life with someone you've never met before.

  • Don't pay someone to stand in line at the court to file your case. It costs $50-75 per filing, depending on the court location, and you have to do it at least twice in most cases. Like face- time, filing is a major cost differential between "bricks and mortar" paralegals, who pad their fee by insisting upon filing your case at court themselves, whether you want it or not, and online providers, who won't file your case at court. File your divorce docs yourself or get your mom, sister or friend to do it for you.  It's easy. If you use NetDivorce, we tell you how and where to file. This saves you another $100-$150.

  • Use the Consumer Fraud Division of your local District Attorney's office immediately as an ultimate threat should you encounter unprofessional or likely fraudulent practices from your non-lawyer divorce provider, whether online or "bricks and mortar."  If your provider is online, they are still located somewhere in the U.S.A. and are subject to the influence and supervision of their local District Attorney's office.

  • Don't download blank divorce documents from any site other than the site of the California Judicial Council or one of the Superior Courts. These sites are the only ones guaranteed to have the current up-to-date forms. And they're free! And you don't have to give up your email address to get them.

  • Don't download for free or pay $10-$30 for an online divorce forms "kit." The forms are free from the California Judicial Council website or from local county Superior Court websites. The alleged "instructions" that come with such kits are very thin and will not even come close to telling you what you need to do to get your specific personal case filed and completed. NetDivorce does not provide or sell a divorce "kit." NetDivorce prepares customized online California divorce papers using your personal information. NetDivorce forms are completed forms that are ready to be filed at court or served upon your spouse.

  • Online divorce "kit" providers are just lead-generators for lawyers. They sell you (or sometimes give you) the "kit," with very thin, un-personalized instructions, knowing that you will need far more specific personalized instruction than they could possible provide. They know you will get confused by their kit. They have your email address for follow-up.  They have already sold your zip code to one or more lawyers. Lawyers are forbidden from soliciting your business directly but kit providers are not lawyers. They bombard you with emails or just sit back and wait for you to contact them.  Then they "rescue" you by referring you to the next lawyer up in your zip code.

  • Don't disclose any personal information to an online divorce provider until you have hired them. The newest online divorce trap is from sites that offer "free divorce documents - no credit card required" or something similar. It is true that you get one single free document without a credit card, but that single document will not get your case filed or completed.  You need many more completed documents to do that and these sites don't even offer a divorce papers preparation service. And by the time you have gotten your single free document, you've already filled in an online interview providing all of your personal marriage info to a Google-affiliated company (in the case of the one dominant website using this trap) without the benefit of any contract to protect you.  There is nothing free!  These sites are selling pre-paid legal services plans at either $20 or $50 per month on credit card auto-billing and those plans don't include divorce. They count on you feeling that you are already committed to them, because you've already completed their interview and provided a lot of personal data, and assuming that the legal services plan will cover divorce.  It doesn't. Though you can hire a lawyer through them at either a 40% discount on the lawyer's "regular" fee or $125 per hour, whichever is greater. If you want to get divorce papers prepared, make sure the site you're looking at provides that service.  If it's unclear, call them and ask before you click any button that says anything like, "Claim Your Free Form."  And whatever you do, don't begin an online interview unless you have paid the site so that you have a proveable contract with them to protect you if things go wrong.