Are online divorce papers legal? 27 Answers as of June 11, 2013

Are the forms you can print online legal for a divorce. Does it have to be uncontested? Is filling them out and going to file them legal?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The Superior Court provides free online legal forms. They are legal to use. A divorce can be contested or uncontested, depending upon whether the parties settle the case, litigate the case, or whether a party defaults. Filling out, signing,and filing the online forms is legal. You will need somebody else, over 18 years old, to serve them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/8/2011
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
The courts have forms on their websites, however there are many procedures that must be filed in order to obtain a divorce. It will be legal if you file the correct forms and follow the court's rules.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/2/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Without looking at the forms you are talking about, I can't appropriately answer your question. If you are asking whether or not a lawyer is necessary, the answer is no.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/2/2011
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
Yes, it's possible that these Internet forms might be "legal" for purposes of a Virginia divorce, but it's more likely that the nonlawyer attempting to fill them out and file them with the appropriate court would make numerous errors during this process which would likely cause the court to reject them.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 9/2/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
There is nothing illegal about the papers. The question is whether or not they are adequate to accomplish what they purport to accomplish once they are completed and filed with the Court. Colorado has provided useable forms for almost all of the kinds of things that might be needed by people who choose to represent themselves without a lawyer. But, if you don't have a lawyer, the court will still expect you to fill out the forms correctly and to understand what is necessary to comply with court rules. Using the forms can apply to both contested and uncontested cases because, in general, it is what is said in completing the forms that indicates whether or not the case is or is not contested.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/1/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    The forms that are issued through the State are permissible to use and file.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    I can't tell you (without seeing them) if the forms you print out cover all of the necessary items for a divorce to go through. Regardless, you would still need to follow proper court procedure - including sending a summons to your spouse and allowing them time to respond.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    There's nothing inherently wrong with on line divorce papers in Washington if they are the state forms.Whether they are legal or not depends on what they say.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Yes. It is perfectly legal to print the forms out from an on line source, complete the forms, and then file them. No, it does not have to be an uncontested divorce, but can be done in any case. In fact, the Washington court system maintains a website with all of the forms.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Probably not. Check with the court where you plan to file for divorce. You are really better off hieing an attorney, especially if you do not know if the matter is going to be contested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Holmes Law Offices
    Holmes Law Offices | Martin M. Holmes
    I am not sure what you mean by " divorce papers". There are a lot of papers in a divorce case. Starting with a summons and complaint, proof of service, child support orders, spousal support orders, verified statements, Record of Divorce, motions, notices , The contents of a Complaint for divorce, and summons, are pretty standard. There are form books available at most large books stores, specific to Michigan that have forms and instructions. However the proper handling of a divorce involves a lot more than filling out forms. A divorce will terminate the marriage, divide property, divide debt, and settle issues with regard to child custody, visitation, support, spousal support etc. It involves issues of retirement plans, health insurance, life insurance, etc. Important legal rights and obligations are affected, even in the simplest of divorces. I strongly suggest that you consult an attorney that handles divorce cases in your area. The costs of a "do it yourself " can be much more than the cost of having it done right. I for one have the ability to take a problem with my car that would cost me $100.00 to have a qualified mechanic do the work and turn it into a $500-$600 problem by trying to fix it myself. The same is true in the legal area but the stakes are much higher.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    There is nothing illegal about online forms. However, not all online forms will work in every court. Moreover, without the assistance of legal counsel, it is easy to overlook important details that could prevent recurring court appearances in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    The Court have been rejecting fill in the blank forms, so I doubt that the Court Clerk would accept them.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    The Florida Supreme Court forms are absolutely legal and can be filed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    I hate to say this, but my answer is that it depends on the online form. There won't be anything "illegal" about openly and honestly presenting information to the court and to your spouse, but some forms can be inadequate, and may not be accepted by the clerk and/or signed by the judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    While it is not the wisest course of action since "one size does not fit all," such forms can be legal if they have all the required content. They save money usually, but often "you get what you pay for.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/2/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    In WI, the only approved forms are free, at wicourts.gov. Other forms are not guaranteed to be accepted and will likely be rejected.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In California, the forms for filing for divorce and many other legal documents are available online for free. They are the same forms available through the court and it is legal to use.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    The online forms for Separation Agreements can only be used in Uncontested Divorces - preferably where there are no children, no alimony, and no property/debt from the marriage. But if that is the case, you could probably have a local divorce attorney *draft* a Separation Agreement for the same price or less anyway. So you don't end up saving much money; but you do risk costing yourself if you don't know what applies to your case during the process. As far as the other forms that have to be filed for divorce, you can find these forms on the Court's website for free; but again, you should have a divorce attorney assist you with this to ensure that your rights are protected.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    If the forms are current California judicial council forms, then they are correct. Wether or not the divorce is contested depends on how your spouse responds to any property division or other legal issues affecting you case. You do not need the other sides consent to proceed with the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    They are absolutely legal. Some are better than others. You might want to take advantage of self help centers at the courthouse to make sure you filled them out correctly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Your forms must conform to the standards set by the California Judicial Council. You can print the forms and also fill them out on-line at the Judicial Council website, free of charge. There is no reason to use any other forms or pay any business for them. They are certainly legal and can be used.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    You should use caution when relying on legal paperwork obtained from any source that is not a lawyer. Many times these documents have errors, or their instructions may not be easily understood. An uncontested divorce is fairly inexpensive from many attorneys, and consulting with an attorney, even if just to check your self-prepared paperwork, may save you a lot of time and money.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Yes, it is legal. They get the process started but it doesn't get you divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    I do not recommend filling out "online" divorce documents as they are not tailored to your specific situation. That being said, they are "legal" if they meet all of the legal requirements of your state. Since the documents are not designed for your specific case, you can easily leave out a provision in the Settlement Agreement that should be included or accidentally include something that should be deleted. There is a difference between meeting the legal requirements of your state and including substantive provisions necessary for your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/31/2011
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