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Things to know about the $100 divorce

A new service has been making the rounds within the media, and promises to make divorce far easier and less costly than the traditional approach. A company is offering a $99 divorce solution for customers who want to save money while exiting their marriage. While the offer may sound appealing to many Maryland spouses, it is important to note that divorce is a complicated legal matter, and one that is not well suited to a one-size-fits all solution.

The details of the $99 divorce have not been fully fleshed out, but the service sounds more like a paperwork generator, rather than any type of legal guidance. According to the company's website, potential clients will be screened in order to determine if their particular scenario is a good fit for the service. If they meet the company's criteria (which are not clearly defined) then the system will generate the forms needed to file for divorce.

The company claims to be able to translate the legal terms used within traditional divorce paperwork into terms that anyone can understand. That is certainly an attainable goal, but it only scratches the surface of what a divorce entails. Simply completing a package of paperwork does nothing to advise spouses of their rights under state law, or the pros and cons of various options.

No matter how amicable a divorce may be, or how simple a couple's base of assets, the end of a marriage is still a serious legal matter. Legal fees pay for more than simple paperwork processing; they also cover the guidance and advice that a family law attorney can provide. Couples in Maryland who want a simpler and less expensive divorce can attain those goals while also taking advantage of legal counsel. A do-it-yourself divorce package is unlikely to provide a good value to the vast majority of couples who are preparing to divorce.

Source:, "New Startup Promises to Simplify Your Divorce for Just $99", Mark Shrayber, Sept. 23, 2015

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