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Illinois divorce lawyersDivorce can be a costly endeavor - especially for those in complex situations. There are ways to reduce the costs associated with an Illinois divorce, but be wary of the option you choose. Online divorce services, often used by divorcing parties who wish to cut costs and simplify the process, can actually cause more harm than good. Learn more about the risks of using an online divorce service, and discover how our seasoned divorce lawyers can improve the outcome in your case. 

Online Divorce Services - Not So Simple 

When performing an internet search for divorce services, parties are likely to come up with a wide array of options. Online services, where legal paperwork is completed and then returned to the paying client to file, are usually toward the top. They claim to offer a “simple” but “affordable” way to complete a divorce. For many, the price seems too good to pass up. 

Sadly, there are many who have pursued such options, only to find themselves in the midst of chaos. That “simple” service turns out to be frustrating, confusing, and in some cases, a complete scam. As an example, consider the recent news coverage of an online divorce service that took money from clients, promising to provide completed paperwork. Some never received their completed paperwork at all. Others say the documents were riddled with errors - to the point that they simply could not use them to file for their divorce. 


Illinois divorce lawyersDivorce, like many things in today's do-it-yourself society, has become something that people try to handle on their own. Unfortunately, a DIY divorce approach can result in numerous consequences for both parties. Learn more about them in the following sections, and discover where you can find seasoned, competent legal representation in your Illinois divorce case. 

Incorrect Valuation of the Marital Estate

One of the first steps in divorce is to determine the worth of a couple’s marital estate, which is typically done through a complex process known as a valuation. Sadly, there are many things can impede the valuation, such as a spouse trying to hide or dissipate their marital assets to keep money away from their spouse. Parties may also make mistakes when trying to handle the matter on their own, which can dramatically impact one’s settlement amount. In extreme cases, improper valuation may even result in an extreme financial loss, which could result in financial strain after the divorce or even divorce-induced poverty. 

Improper Division of a Retirement Account or Pension Plan

Retirement accounts and pension plans can be exceptionally difficult to divide in divorce - and most just because they are subject to improper valuation (a problem that is highly common with pension plans since they can change value several times over the course of the divorce). The rules of division vary from one type of pension plan to the next. For example, a 401K needs a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), and the document must match the information found in the divorce decree, but other retirement plans may not require this same document. Since retirement accounts are often one of the more valuable assets that a couple owns, any mistakes can be costly for the involved parties - and not just immediately, but far into the future.  


Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersIn the do-it-yourself culture of today, it comes as no surprise that one can easily research divorce online. If one so desires, they may also fill out and print state-specific forms and file them with the court, pro se (without an attorney). Sadly, many parties who pursue such options end up learning a hard and expensive lesson: divorce should not be a “DIY project.”

The Dangers of a DIY Divorce

DIY divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer to complete the paperwork for you, while others simply offer advice to help you fill out the forms yourself. Either way, you are taking a major risk. Few of these options are state-specific, and that can make a significant difference in the division of your marital estate – especially in Illinois, where assets are distributed equitably, rather than equally. Of special concern are large assets, such as the family home, and retirement accounts, which can be exceptionally difficult to divide without assistance.

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