Online divorce services are on the rise, and it's no surprise. Divorce brings a significant emotional and financial burden, marking not just the end of a marriage but a complete shift in your daily life. The emotional stress is frequently intensified by the financial implications, such as asset division, alimony, child support, and the costs of maintaining separate households. Navigating through this complex and emotionally charged process demands resilience and support, highlighting the importance of finding effective ways to manage these challenges. In this round-up, we rank the best online divorce tools and services to get you on your way to finalizing this part of your life.
What Does an Online Divorce Tool Do?
An online divorce tool is a digital platform designed to simplify the divorce process, particularly for uncontested divorces where both parties agree on the terms. Here's an overview of what these tools typically offer:
Functionality of Online Divorce Tools
- Guided Process for Filing Documents: These tools often provide a step-by-step guided process for completing the necessary legal paperwork for a divorce. They can tailor the documents to the specific requirements of your state and the particulars of your situation.
- Document Preparation: They assist in preparing and organizing all required legal forms and documents for filing a divorce. This can include forms for asset division, child custody agreements, alimony, and more.
- State-Specific Information: Since divorce laws vary by state, these tools usually provide information and forms specific to the legal requirements of the user’s state.
- Instructions for Filing: The tool may offer instructions on how to file the divorce papers with your local court, including details on any state-specific procedures.
- Affordable Alternative: Online divorce services are typically less expensive than hiring a divorce attorney, making them a cost-effective option for many people.
- Conflict Reduction: For couples who are in agreement about the terms of their divorce, these tools can help reduce conflict by providing a clear and straightforward way to finalize the divorce.
- Checklists and Resources: Some tools offer checklists and additional resources to help you manage the divorce process and ensure you’ve covered all necessary areas.
- Legal and Customer Support: Many online divorce platforms provide legal support from a lawyer and customer support to help users navigate the tool and answer any questions they might have about the process.
What To Look for in An Online Divorce Tool
In the age of digital solutions, online divorce tools offer a streamlined approach to handling divorce proceedings. When selecting an online tool, consider the following key aspects:
- Legal Requirements: It must be capable of addressing the legal requirements unique to your state.
- Comprehensiveness: The service needs to cover all necessary aspects of the divorce process, tailored to your specific situation.
- Ease of Use: The tool should be user-friendly, guiding users through each step.
- Cost-Effectiveness: It should offer a more affordable alternative to traditional divorce proceedings.
- Conflict Reduction: Ideally, the tool should facilitate a smoother process, minimizing conflict between parties.
In this round-up, we cover the best tools to get your divorce done online, ensuring an affordable, but most importantly effective process according to legal requirements so that you can move on.
Our Roundup of the Best Online Divorce Tools
- Initial Cost: OnlineDivorce.com charges $159 upfront for its basic divorce package.
- Monthly Fees: After the first 30 days, there is a monthly charge of $39.99 for continued access to documents.
- Platinum Service: For $319, this upgraded service includes review and filing of forms, serving your spouse, and unlimited paperwork changes before filing.
Customer and Online Reviews
- Overall Impressions: OnlineDivorce.com has received mixed reviews. Some customers appreciate its ease of use and affordability. However, it has a Trustpilot rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars, with 32% of the reviews being only 1-star.
- Customer Feedback: Users have mentioned its quick and easy service, especially beneficial for spouses living in different states. Nonetheless, there have been complaints about hidden monthly fees and lack of clarity in the sign-up process.
- Long Track Record: OnlineDivorce.com has been in operation for over 20 years, assisting over 500,000 customers.
- Simplified Process: The service is based on an online interview, making the document preparation process intuitive.
- All-Inclusive Service: Offers legal divorce documentation for all 50 states and parts of Canada.
- 100% Guarantee: Guarantees that the forms will be accepted by courts in the jurisdiction where they are filed.
- Customer Support: Provides multiple channels for customer service, including phone and email.
- Not Ideal for Contested Divorces: The service may not be optimal for contested divorces with unresolved issues.
- Lack of Legal Advice: OnlineDivorce.com is not a law firm and doesn’t provide legal advice.
- Additional Costs for Filing: The fee does not include court filing costs, which may be significant depending on your location.
- Specific Local Forms: Some local forms may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk’s office due to specific requirements.
- Hidden Fees: There are complaints about deceptive monthly fees that aren’t clear during the sign-up process.
OnlineDivorce.com is a good option for those seeking an uncontested, straightforward divorce process. It's affordable and reduces the time and stress usually associated with divorces.
3-Step Divorce (Best Option with a Payment Plan)
3-Step Divorce offers an all-inclusive pricing model:
- Cost: $299 flat fee.
- Payment Plans: Options available, with the first payment being just $84.
- Includes: Access to all required divorce documents and forms, with the option to pay in installments without delaying the divorce process.
Customer and Online Reviews
- Better Business Bureau: 3-Step Divorce holds an "A" rating from the BBB.
- Trustpilot: The service has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on over 1,500 reviews. Most reviews are positive, appreciating the simplicity and effectiveness of the service.
- Feedback: Customers have praised the ease of use, comprehensive documentation, and solid customer service. However, some users were unaware they had to file their completed forms separately, which is a common requirement for most online divorce services.
- No Hidden Fees: The $299 fee is comprehensive and includes everything needed.
- Instant Access to Forms: Immediate access to completed forms after completion.
- Court Approval Assurance: Offers a 100% money-back guarantee if documents are not accepted by the court.
- Flexible Filing Options: Options for filing by mail or fax.
- Privacy and Security: The platform is private and secure.
- Additional Resources: Includes a Divorce Negotiation Platform, Child Custody, Visitation and Support Tracking, a comprehensive resource library, and more.
- Customer Support: Offers unlimited live phone and email support.
- No Live Attorney Consultations: The service does not include consultations with attorneys.
- Self-Filing Requirement: Users must file the divorce papers on their own, which is standard for most online divorce services.
- Device Limitations: The service is not usable on phones, requiring access to a computer.
- Not Suitable for Contested Divorce: The service is not ideal for divorces where there are disputes over assets, custody, etc.
Hello Divorce (Best for Specific States)
Hello Divorce offers various membership levels with different pricing:
- DIY Divorce: $99 flat fee (or 6 payments of $20). This plan includes access to software for completing divorce forms, suitable for simple uncontested divorces.
- Pro: $1,500 flat fee (or 6 payments of $275). This plan includes everything in the DIY Divorce, plus handling all procedural aspects.
- Plus: $2,500 flat fee (or 6 payments of $500). This plan involves a legal document assistant handling the entire divorce process.
- Cooperative: $3,800 flat fee, includes everything in the Plus plan along with 5 hours of mediation.
Note: Hello Divorce is available only in California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah.
Customer and Online Reviews
Hello Divorce has been featured in various outlets, but individual reviews are limited due to its relatively new status and limited state availability. The service has a Yelp page with positive reviews. Users have noted the convenience and ease of use of the platform, though specific numerical ratings or detailed user feedback are not extensively available.
- Free 15-minute strategy session.
- Range of services to fit different needs.
- Customizable experience with DIY resources.
- Monthly or flat fee rates with the option to cancel anytime.
- Access to a network of divorce attorneys.
- Limited availability, only in select states (CA, CO, TX, UT).
- The full-service option is relatively expensive compared to other online divorce services.
- State filing fees are additional costs, which is common in most DIY online divorce services.
Hello Divorce stands out for its range of customizable options and access to legal assistance, though it's currently limited to a few states. Its tiered pricing model allows users to choose the level of service that best fits their situation, from DIY to full-service plans.
CompleteCase (Best for Easy and Fast Help)
- Initial Fee: Complete Case charges a flat fee of $299.
- Monthly Access Fee: After 30 days, there is a $24.99 monthly access fee for continued use of the service.
- Refund Policy: The platform offers a 100% money-back guarantee if your filing is rejected by the state's divorce court.
Customer and Online Reviews
- Complete Case has mixed reviews online. On Trustpilot, it has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. While many customers found the service easy to use and efficient, others expressed frustration over the recurring monthly expense for continued access to documents.
- Some customers also reported issues with the responsiveness of the customer support department. Despite these concerns, Complete Case is often prompt in responding to negative reviews and offers solutions to customer issues.
- Ease of Use: Customers can complete forms in as little as 30 minutes.
- Experience: Complete Case has 19 years of experience in online divorce services.
- Document Access: Immediate access to completed documents via PDF, with the option for mail delivery.
- Support: Unlimited support by phone and email.
- Court Acceptance Guarantee: If documents are not accepted by the court, there is a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Limited Free Access Period: Access to services is free only for the first 30 days, after which a monthly fee is charged.
- Additional Mailing Fee: There's an extra charge for having forms mailed, as opposed to downloading them.
- Legal Advice: Legal advice is not included in the initial fee or subscription and is an additional cost.
- Document Availability: The platform does not offer blank forms for download or printing.
Nolo DivorceNet (Best for Legal Consultation)
- Flat Fee: $159 for the preparation of online divorce documents.
- Mediation Services: Offers a free 30-minute mediation call. A full mediation package is available for $3,995 plus court fees. This includes any additional mediation hours needed.
- Refund Policy: Offers a comprehensive refund policy, including a full refund if court rejects your papers within 30 days of rejection, and a full refund within 30 days of purchase if you have not used the product.
Customer and Online Reviews
- Trustpilot Rating: DivorceNet has a rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on 14 reviews.
- User Feedback: Customers have praised the ease of use of DivorceNet's platform. Some users noted the straightforward process and helpfulness, while a few mentioned finding some documents confusing or outdated.
- Overall Reception: Generally, reviews indicate a positive user experience with DivorceNet, particularly highlighting its simplicity and helpful customer support.
- Court Acceptance Guarantee: 100% guaranteed court-accepted forms or a full refund.
- Cost Savings: Can save significantly on attorney fees compared to traditional divorce processes.
- Free Initial Mediation Session: Helpful for amicable resolutions and understanding disagreements.
- Extensive Experience: Owned by Nolo, known for providing legal information and products since 1995.
- Limited Service Range: More basic compared to other online divorce providers.
- Limited Mediation Availability: Mediation service is currently only available in four states.
- Focus on Uncontested Divorce: Best suited for uncontested divorces where spouses agree on terms.
DivorceNet stands out for its straightforward online platform and its focus on uncontested divorces. The platform's affordability and ease of use make it a viable option for those looking to handle their divorce process without extensive legal assistance.