OLYMPIA — After investigating a series of complaints from people who were unhappy with the services they received from Divorce Online, the attorney general of Washington State has barred the divorce website from practice in the state. The firm is accused of offering paralegal services without a licensed divorce attorney overseeing the process.
Rob McKenna, Washington’s Republican attorney general, and the Delaware-based company reached an agreement in Thurston County Superior Court on September 10. Although Divorce Online agreed to terminate its services in Washington and provide refunds to customers who have complained to McKenna’s office, the settlement doesn’t denote an admission of wrongdoing on the website’s part.
Senior Counsel Paula Selis, a specialist in Internet cases for the attorney general’s office, told Legal Newsline: “Couples trying to undo their ‘I dos’ could find the process as irksome as an irreconcilable relationship if they don’t get information from a qualified source.”
Divorce Online was charging $249 to help people fill out legal divorce forms and to “help you prepare your Washington State divorce forms according to your particular set of circumstances and in a format accepted by Washington courts”, the website read. However, according to Washington divorce law, only a licensed family lawyer can draft and complete forms for divorcing people.
The moral is: even if you’re looking for an easier, quicker, and/or cheaper divorce, you still have to get some level of guidance from a qualified professional. Talk to a licensed divorce lawyer to make sure the online divorce service you’re using is legitimate and qualified.
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