With the increase of online divorce providers, many people are turning away from specialist lawyers when they want a divorce and instead opting to go online to “speed up” the process. But this approach doesn’t always mean a smooth ride.
Unfortunately, errors made in completing the online divorce forms can lead to delay and frustration. Despite being conducted online, divorce proceedings are still subject to the Court’s scrutiny and if the Divorce Petition is not correctly completed, the divorce will be refused.
One of the main areas for the Courts consideration is the particulars section. This section of the Petition asks the person completing the Petition to set out their reasons for the Divorce. The reasons must fall under one of five grounds. Three of the five available divorce grounds require a waiting period of at least two years. To get what is called a “quickie divorce” there has to be grounds such as adultery or behaviour. Adultery must be proved or admitted. Behaviour must be such as to satisfy the Court that it is no longer reasonable for the couple to stay together. No fault divorce is coming, but it is not yet enacted into the law. So the Petition has to be completed so that a judge will approve the divorce. Online divorce creates the false impression that it is no more than a form filling exercise. A lot more must be considered and carefully so.
Also, the Divorce process itself is only part of the overall considerations when ending a marriage. The online divorce procedure takes no account as to how parties are to divide their finances or who the children are to spend time with each parent. Failing to also deal with financial matters can create huge issues. To deal with financial aspects of a divorce, separate steps have to be taken. If this is overlooked and one of the parties remarries, they will lose the chance of making a financial application and fall into the “remarriage trap”.
There is no substitute for consulting a specialist divorce lawyer who will be able to advise you as to all of the steps you can and probably should take to resolve matters at the end of your relationship.