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Online divorce not for everyone

Colorado couples who are looking to save money or time during their divorce may try to navigate the legal waters themselves. Many jurisdictions have forms that can be downloaded and filed with the court to start the process of divorce. However, using online services for divorce may not be the best option for all spouses.

One disadvantage of using an online service is that it assumes that all required information is readily available. However, it is not uncommon for spouses to not share information during the process of divorce. So a spouse may assume that he or she knows about the location and value of all of the couple's assets, this may not be the case. This is especially true when one spouse has handled more of the financial responsibilities in the relationship. Getting a divorce online may give the other spouse an opportunity to know about the pending litigation, causing him or her to move assets. Trying to track down these assets can make the divorce process more frustrating and expensive. The computer system can only work with the information that a person provides it.

While computers can calculate amounts of alimony and child support with pre-determined formulas, a lawyer can discuss other factors that a court can consider when making these decisions, such as information about the child's special needs, health, lifestyle and unique circumstances. This additional information can give a family court judge a right to deviate from a standardized formula. Likewise, a lawyer may be able to help a judge make decisions about custody when the parents are unable to do so.

Individuals going through divorce are advised to consult an attorney instead of relying on online forms. Every familial situation is different, and the attorney can best determine a divorcing client's needs based upon the particular circumstances.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Business, So Why Do It Online?", Brendan Lyle, April 08, 2014

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