Should you lawyer up or get an online divorce?

couple sitting in front of laptop

Note: We partner with companies whose values align with ours to help offset operating costs so that our registry and cash fund can always be free for our users. This post is sponsored by our friends at Hello Divorce, an online divorce platform. 

Getting divorced comes with a seemingly endless deluge of, among other things, decisions. Here you are, experiencing all the emotions and now you’re also expected to make even more major decisions? 

Alas, all is fair in love and divorce. But not every decision you need to make has to be hard, including the decision on how you’re going to get divorced. Are courts and judges necessary, or is an online divorce the right choice? 

Do you need a lawyer?

Choosing your lawyer is the second most important decision you’re going to make during your divorce. Would we go so far as to say that your choice of lawyer might be the difference between your kids going to college or joining the circus at 14? Divorcist is split 50/50 on this issue. 

But do you even need a lawyer? 

On your divorce journey, you’ll discover that there’s a whole lot more gray area than you ever thought possible. The lawyer question is firmly in the gray zone. There’s a spectrum of options between attack dog lawyer and kumbaya-hands-holding-peaceful signing of the MSA.

You could get one lawyer for the two of you. Or you could go pro se. You could get a mediator. And now, you can even go lawyer-free and get divorced online. 

Lawyer up or log on?

“Divorces are expensive because they’re worth it.”

This is a popular quote on divorce Twitter, but it doesn’t take into account the increasing number of couples who choose to get divorced without draining their assets for it. 

Divorce is worth it. No argument there. But it doesn’t actually have to be expensive. No one in the industry really wants you to know this, but it’s true. If you and your partner are up for one last challenge as a married couple, you could save a small fortune by leaving the lawyers out of the equation. 

couple sitting in front of a laptop
An online divorce might just be easier than doing your taxes!

One way to do this is to get an online divorce. 

Is an online divorce right for you?

Not every couple should get an online divorce. There are a lot of factors to consider. Ask yourself these questions to help determine if an online divorce is your (much cheaper) ticket out of your marriage. 

Do we agree on the big things?

Even more complicated divorces (when there are kids, a great deal of debt, or a mega portfolio of assets) can be done online. That is, of course, if you and your soon-to-be-ex agree on the big things. If you anticipate going 12 rounds with your partner, battling it out for every last Tupperware lid, you might need to spend the money on lawyers. 

Do we know where we’re headed?

You might have gone into your marriage blindly. Don’t make the same mistake with your divorce. Check out divorce planning resources to make sure you and your former beloved are on the same page. 

Do I trust my partner to do this in good faith?

Cooperation is key. If you don’t think your partner can handle being a person for the short time it takes to go through the online divorce process, it’s perhaps not for you. 

Can I deal with my partner?

If your partner is a person of their word and you trust them to go through the online divorce process with you, fantastic! If communicating directly with them makes you want to light yourself on fire, not so fantastic. Sometimes the animosity is too great to overcome and you’ll need to get a lawyer involved, simply for your sanity. 

Will I get enough expertise and support?

Divorce is tough. Having a lawyer “in your corner,” complete with an office to go cry in from time to time can help you feel a bit more in control of an otherwise unwieldy situation. That said, many online divorce providers have realized this and feature bolstered extras, including coaches and lawyers to give you advice and help you through. You may find better support via an online divorce resource than you might with a lawyer. 

Does my state allow it?

Not every state recognizes online divorce, although more are being added to the list every day. Check to be sure your state allows online divorce. 

Keep your cool–and your money

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it doesn’t automatically make you sad, either. If there’s a way for you and your ex to get divorced without shelling out for lawyers, we highly recommend it. Online divorces are one really good way to do this. 

You may want to take your ex to the cleaners, but more often than not, you’re going to end up paying for it. Online divorce is one way to keep more of your money and to keep things a little less heated. When you don’t need to go before a judge and you don’t need to communicate through lawyers, you can have a more humane divorce. You’ll feel less attacked and less stressed. You will keep more money in your pocket. You might even resent your ex less. All of these things are good for you and even better for your kids if you have them. Make life easier for all of you and do what you can to skip the cost of lawyers and get back on your feet faster. 

Find the best option for you

If online divorce is right for you, Hello Divorce is offering our readers this exclusive deal: $50 off with code: DIV50 (valid on: Pro, Plus, and Cooperative Divorce Plans). Find the plan that works for you today!