I want to talk to you today about online divorce. Can you do it? Should you do it? Is it a good idea? What are the downsides? What are the upsides? Well the obvious upside is that because you’re doing it yourself then there are no lawyers involved. And that’s one of the problems of course. You haven’t got the legal training. You’re probably incredibly good at what you do. I like to think that I am not too bad at what I do either because I’ve been doing it for such a long time. The question is ‘Are you going to get it right?’ And if you don’t get it right what are the consequences?
Well the problem is that it’s virtually impossible for anybody to get it right first time and what I do see is quite a lot of people who have tried to deal with things on their own and haven’t got it right. So what has happened is they’ve ended up coming back to me because the court has rejected their petition. They haven’t rejected it at the very outset, they’ve rejected it when they’ve applied to the Decree Nisi and that means that they then have to amend their divorce petition.
And that is not a straightforward procedure by any stretch of the imagination. You have to go through a fairly complicated situation. So for example any words that you’re going to delete have to remain in the petition but have to have a red line put through them. Any words that you include have to be underlined in red. If you have to re amend then you go on to doing it in green, and so on and so forth. And there’s a whole colour scheme for every time you amend.
The purpose of that of course is so the court knows what came in at what time. Now I was taught when I was articled a long time ago that the best thing to do is to get it right first time so what you need to do is make sure that your divorce petition is right, and I would strongly recommend that it’s checked by a professional before you file it. You will find it will save you a lot of time, a lot of heartache and it obviously costs more money for a lawyer to correct your mistakes rather than doing it in the first place. So you may find that online divorce is the right thing for you, but for quite a few people it’s not turned out to be what they wanted it to be.
So I would strongly recommend that you do just get your petition checked by the divorce lawyer before you do anything with it ok? A little money at the outset will save you a lot of money later on. So it’s a bit like an insurance premium really isn’t it? So online divorce may be good, may not, but I am sure you’ll make the right decision.