When obtaining information regarding divorce, know that the legal options and laws vary by state.  While it's best to consult an attorney, there are sites, like DMK, that provide general divorce information to better prepare you when you do. 

That general information includes information about the legal process and potential options available.  DMK also provides a robust and comprehensive directory of legal professionals on our DMK Legal Directory.

While there is no substitute for a local legal advisor, foreknowledge of the legal process helps you ask the right questions when interviewing local attorneys and mediators. 

When you have a general understanding of the process and potential options, you'll be a more informed legal consumer.  Rather than asking your attorney to explain such details at a cost of $100 or more per hour (based on the average starting cost of attorneys) you'll understand and be better prepared to make legal decisions. 

Should I seek legal advice online?

While some attorney's sites and blogs may provide online information, the law is complicated, so again, it's always best to use online sources as a precursor to legal advice rather than a substitute.  If using information online as part of your legal decision making, it's always best to have no less than 3 sources to ensure the information is accurate and up to date in addition to the guidance of a licensed legal expert.

What are the types of advice I should get online?

Choosing an attorney - Most people choose their attorney online rather than any other source.

Establish attorney interview questions - It's hard to know what to ask if you don't have a general idea of "divorce basics".  Research these online prior to meeting with your attorney to save on excess legal billing from your attorney when discussing legal facts you could already know before your first appointment.  

Laws of your state - Understand the types of divorce available in your state and any requirements that need satisfaction prior to the dissolution.

Emotional health- Find ways to cope with the emotional divorce you experience at every stage of divorce.  This includes health and wellness sources and experts such as counselors, physicians, group therapy options, life coaches, local gyms or exercise programs, etc.   Emotional health is a primary obstacle when making important legal decisions regarding divorce.

Local attorney advice - Laws and how they pertain to each case can vary.  Online information may give you basic ideas, tips and advice and help you locate local attorney's web sites with additional information related to the legal process of separation and divorce in your state. This may help you decide if a divorce is right for you and, if so, how you and your spouse want to proceed.  

Local mediators, DIY online divorce options and shared attorney services -  There are alternatives to traditional legal representation that include DIY guides, mediation services to help with negotiations and legal document preparers (limited states).  All of these options can reduce the costs associated with divorce a great deal. 

Take the time to understand the differences and if doing-it-yourself, contact your county clerk's office for information related to the necessary paperwork needed to file for divorce in your county.

Budget tips - Locate ways to budget, increase income, reduce expenses as a way to deal with the financial strains of divorce.

Tax laws - You should understand the tax laws as the apply to your situation.  Utilize sites that give you basic information related to these laws and follow up with www.irs.gov, your accountant or tax attorney for specific tax laws as they relate to your divorce.  Understand such laws may affect how you file your current year's taxes and affect your negotiations for your divorce settlement.

Could I use only online information and services to settle my divorce?

Absolutely.  There are many attorney's who offer limited services and do-it-yourself sites that put some or all of the legal legwork on you and your spouse.  The more you are responsible to do yourself, the more you usually save and need to understand the legal process in your state.  This is usually a good option for couples who have not been married a long time or have limited debts/assets, no children and reasonable communication to manage the divorce themselves.  It takes more time and a good understanding of the process.  So, get researching!  

If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement and have sizeable assets, debts, investments, tax issues, children, support issues, infidelity, abuse or neglect affecting your divorce, it's often recommended you retain traditional legal representation in an effort to properly manage the divorce and get the most advantageous settlement (especially in a contentious and emotionally charged case).  Due to the complexities of these cases, few are filed and completed without some intervention from legal advisors/representatives.

What happens if advice I get online is incorrect?

Refer to the site's user agreement, terms and conditions and/or disclaimers regarding incorrect online advice or information given on their site.  Advice, guidance and/or information on sites like Divorce Me Knot is not meant to provide "legal advice" and provide no guarantees or warranties. Rather, it should be used as a resource in order to inform the legal consumer about the divorce process.  You should seek "legal advice" from a reputable attorney, licensed in your state.          -OurDMK.com


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