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Print 74 comment(s) - last by clovell.. on Nov 15 at 5:32 PM

The new service aims to save divorce filers time and money

It looks like you will soon be able to do more than just online shopping and download tunes via the internetThe South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting a new development in Broward County, South Florida, concerning online legality.  In what can perhaps be seen as a sad reflection of our times, the county has just launched online services which allow married couples to apply for divorce online.

The site will guide residents through the legal steps to getting a divorce.  The system is designed to help people with low income save money by foregoing attorney fees.  The various steps on the site contain full information, including legal definitions.  They also have sets of questions to help users determine which forms they need to fill out.

"It kind of guides you through, it asks questions. Once it knows your name, it will put it in every space it should go," Kris Mazzeo, director of the circuit/civil family division of the clerk of courts, said.

Once residents complete the online forms necessary, they merely have to mail the signed forms to the county clerk's office.  Some forms do require a notary signature.

Broward County officials feel the service will save its citizens time and inconvenience.

"People come downtown and it's expensive to park. If we can keep them from making extra trips to the courthouse, it would be great for them," director Mazzeo said.

The city may also have some selfish motives in adopting this change of policy.  The online application process is expected to simplify the paperwork needed by the county clerks and eliminate incomplete applications and angry customers.

Broward County is also launching similar legal services for small claims lawsuits and tenant evictions.

Broward County is not the first county to bring its divorce process online.  The opulent Palm Beach County also has adopted such a system, along with several others.



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RE: Cool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/14/2007 11:11:03 AM , Rating: 0
I'm not married, I was just making a joke. I'm well doing very well financially, and am contributing quite a lot to my savings and multitude of retirement accounts. Getting married is a bad financial decision.


RE: Cool
By RogueSpear on 11/14/2007 11:17:05 AM , Rating: 2
Perpetual dating without living together - if I had to do it all over again.


RE: Cool
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 11:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
That sounds like a nightmare - after all, there is a downside to the lack of commitment. For example, what if you got really sick - would the person you're just dating stick around and take care of you? What if you lost your job would your "girlfriend" support you for a while? Maybe so, maybe not.

What about kids? Don't even think of bringing up kids in a non-committed relationship - that's most always going to be a disaster. Raising kids is hard when you have a good situation - anything else just makes it that much harder.


RE: Cool
By Lord 666 on 11/14/2007 12:24:31 PM , Rating: 1
FYI - 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Sorry, life is not a disaster.


RE: Cool
By Parhel on 11/14/2007 12:36:24 PM , Rating: 4
No, it's not a disaster, but I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be a single parent. I'm amazed at how much work being a married parent is.


RE: Cool
By Ringold on 11/14/2007 3:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
Quality has to slip somewhere, or responsibility shifted elsewhere.

I wont point fingers, merely making an observation -- only 24 hours in a day for one, but 48 for two. Economies of scale don't just exist for corporations.


RE: Cool
By Lord 666 on 11/14/2007 5:03:58 PM , Rating: 3
Coming from a single parent upbringing, I can speak for experience on this one.

Father walked out on us before I entered middle school, bringing the remaining family from well off to dirt poor. My mother worked three jobs so we could attend private school. By the time I entered college my mother had worked it down to two jobs and a decent roof over our head. Sure, we didn't go on vacations, but she tried her best so we went with some nice things. We grew up without our mother ever being around so it accelerated resposibility and maturity.

What did I learn from that? Hard work pays off, marriage is sacred, and ambition and drive can come from anger and hate. Sure others mileage may vary, but its not about the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.


RE: Cool
By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 3:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
50% of all pregnancies are unplanned


Unplanned and outside of marriage are two different things. You can be married and have an unplanned pregnancy.

As far as the number of pregnancies outside of marriage, most are a disaster. We've got 14-17 year olds getting pregnant these days. This is not a good thing. No it's not the babies fault. But if its parents had been smarter, it wouldn't have existed to start with.

That said I'm against abortion. You made the mistake. You live with the consequences. The kid shouldn't suffer for your act of stupidity.


RE: Cool
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 3:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The kid shouldn't suffer for your act of stupidity.

That could be used as an argument either for or against abortion, couldn't it? :o)

There are a lot of people who believe that abortion has helped to solve a lot of serious social problems, for example the theory that the drop in crime in the 1990's was related to the legalization of abortion in the United States.

And if you think about it, bringing unwanted children into the world is not exactly a very good situation either. The outcome for those children is typically pretty bad in general.


RE: Cool
By Ringold on 11/14/2007 3:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
I think the kicker is in where one decides to draw the line at abortion; at what week does it go from ethical to murder? Brain stem activity, according to wiki, shows up starting around 54 days; some women may not even be sure they're pregnant at that point.

Of course, could say that once the process is started, being that the natural outcome is a child without intervention then at any week its murder, but society has moved much too far in favor of abortion to ever look at it like that again.

At any rate, once it crosses societies magical dateline of death, what ever that may be, I would say that there really arent many fates worse than death.

As for the women that try to get abortions all the way out in the 3rd trimester, I say abort the women, but that's just me.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/14/2007 3:46:04 PM , Rating: 1
> As for the women that try to get abortions all the way out in the 3rd trimester, I say abort the women, but that's just me.

Agreed.


RE: Cool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/14/2007 7:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
Until the fetus can live on its own without the mother its nothing more than a parasite. Parasites can be removed if the host deems it necessary. The fetus is no different than any other paraside that dies when we medically remove it from the host (Worms, etc...). People pose moral dilema's, but the details in regards to abortion is pretty clear cut from a medical and scientific point of view.


RE: Cool
By TomZ on 11/14/2007 7:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Referring to an unborn child as a "parasite" is prety cold. Technically a child is a "parasite" even after birth, if you choose to look at it that way.

I'm guessing you're not a parent... :o)


RE: Cool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/14/2007 8:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't let my paternal emotions get in the way of logic.


RE: Cool
By Parhel on 11/14/2007 8:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's inaccurate. Parasites, by definition, are of different species from the host organism. In addition, a one year old child couldn't live on his or her own without the mother. Would you then go so far as to say that "aborting" a born infant is morally neutral as well?


RE: Cool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/14/2007 9:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's inaccurate. Parasites, by definition, are of different species from the host organism.

Incorrect. You read the definition from Wikipedia which is inaccurate. Normally I would have no problem with wikipedia information but it didn't seem quite right. I rechecked the definition of Parasite with Encarta, Dictionary.com, and a Biology text book.
An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
That's the definition of a parasite. A Fetus fits this definition. Moving on.

quote:
In addition, a one year old child couldn't live on his or her own without the mother.

Sure it can, premature babies survive just fine without their mothers all the time. So do babies who's mother dies in child birth. The child has basic needs that can be satisfied by any caretaker, the mother is not required. After a year this becomes even easier as many internal organs are more developed and can handle harsher environments.

quote:
Would you then go so far as to say that "aborting" a born infant is morally neutral as well?

No. Even premature babies can survive without their mother. (See above). You are jumping to a conclusion based on an incorrect interpretation of my statement.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/15/2007 11:56:08 AM , Rating: 1
In that case, Mr. Kenobi, you're wrong. Pregnancy boosts a woman's immune system, and therefore does not qualify as a parasite since it does contribute something to the host.

As for the the post-partum aspesct - the child would still be a 'parasite' by your reasoning - the hsot would simply be different.

I see where you're coming from with this, but in all reality, medicine and science are practiced with ethics - so the argument is rather moot.


RE: Cool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/15/2007 3:18:41 PM , Rating: 1
Ethics are a notion. Made up by people who are trying to apply morality to process.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/15/2007 5:32:35 PM , Rating: 1
um... ok?


RE: Cool
By Synastar on 11/14/2007 8:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a fan of abortion, however, you are wrong on one count for sure. My wife is a social worker, and believe me, many unwanted children go through fates worse than death on a daily basis. The ones who make it through the system relatively undamaged mentally and/or physically are few and far between.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/14/2007 3:44:51 PM , Rating: 1
> That could be used as an argument either for or against abortion, couldn't it? :o)

Maybe - although how well it would actually stand up would depend on whether you consider a fetus a person.

> There are a lot of people who believe that abortion has helped to solve a lot of serious social problems, for example the theory that the drop in crime in the 1990's was related to the legalization of abortion in the United States.

I haven't heard that before. I don't see how those dots connect - I mean, Roe v Wade happened decades before the 1990s.

> And if you think about it, bringing unwanted children into the world is not exactly a very good situation either. The outcome for those children is typically pretty bad in general

It's definitely a lose-lose. Depending on your moral convictions, though, your choice of which loss to take can vary.


RE: Cool
By retrospooty on 11/14/2007 9:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
"> There are a lot of people who believe that abortion has helped to solve a lot of serious social problems, for example the theory that the drop in crime in the 1990's was related to the legalization of abortion in the United States.

I haven't heard that before. I don't see how those dots connect - I mean, Roe v Wade happened decades before the 1990s."


What he mant, and I agree is that Roe v wade in the early 70 = less unwanted unattended and un(properly)parented kids in the 70's and 80's = less criminals in the 90's and today.


RE: Cool
By glitchc on 11/15/2007 12:41:10 AM , Rating: 2
Sheesh, how tiresome...

Need I remind people on this forum, once again, that that particular theory from Freakonomics has been thoroughly and completely debunked.

The correlation did not hold water, fellas and lassies. The analysis was flawed. Give it up.


RE: Cool
By Lord 666 on 11/14/2007 5:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Teenage pregnancy rates have been dropping consistently each year. Considering how much the federal govt spends on free condoms for the community, it could be an easy explanation. Its an amazing sight seeing boxes of condoms in the 1000 count in all different flavors and colors. I call them the party pack.

That figure of 50% of all pregnancies is across the board.


RE: Cool
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/14/2007 11:22:01 AM , Rating: 3
Ha, well only if
1) One individual is not contributing equally
or
2) You plan on cheating (as you would then be subject to financial penalties in the settlement.

On the contrary from an economic standpoint, two career people marrying is a rather good decision, as you have twice as much capital to invest, etc. and it opens up possibilities which you did not have previously.

Thats rather a cold perspective though, and its not something you want to jump into casually.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/14/2007 11:43:17 AM , Rating: 2
Single-earner families aren't dead either ;) Mine works pretty darned well. There's more to life than money. Work to Live - not Live to Work.


RE: Cool
By Moishe on 11/14/2007 11:52:41 AM , Rating: 5
Marriage is not necessarily a bad financial decision. I see families who are poor stay poor because of their upbringing mostly. They're messed up in a way that makes them kind and decent people (maybe) who simply have made a long series of wrong choices and they're living in the consequences. Marrying someone who can't stop spending or who won't manage their money is a bad financial decision. That's an individual thing though.

Divorce happens so often because:
1.) People get in too quick without really knowing/understanding who they are marrying.

Premarital counseling helped me quite a bit to understand the responsibility and the situation I was putting myself in. Let's face it, life is not always fun and going into marriage without some sobering facts will set you back later on. Simple preparation goes a long way but it's also not "fun" to think about those things when you're stupidly and blindly "in love".

2.) Culturally, we don't value commitment as much as in the past. Very few consider divorce a moral decision.

In a culture that is largely anti-religious, morality tends to have a bad name. Morality opposes selfishness and the general idea that we can all just do what we want, when we want. Morality places high value on things that don't seem so important at first but those things have a large effect on whether or not people will commit long term, sacrifice for another person, or remain ethical in general.

3.) Divorce is easy, convenient, and an inherently selfish act. It's the easiest path for most people.

Can't blame people for being selfish, it's just what humans do. Not that divorce should be difficult in all situations, but making divorce just a simple choice with few real consequences ensures that people will be more likely to take that road.

Put these things together and it's guaranteed to happen. Good or bad, we pay a price for everything.


RE: Cool
By clovell on 11/14/2007 11:56:30 AM , Rating: 1
Bravo!


RE: Cool
By ThisSpaceForRent on 11/14/2007 1:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if my girlfriend is grooming me for marriage. We've been going out for quite awhile, and she's all of the sudden worried about how I spend my money. Hmm...I guess it couldn't be all bad, wouldn't have to pay to take her out anymore. Hehe.


RE: Cool
By Moishe on 11/15/2007 9:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... money is one of the number one reasons for divorce... which is nuts. Mature people need to be able to control themselves in many ways, including spending.

My wife and I have a setup like this. Any time more than $100 is spent it has to be talked about first (everyone gets their say). I love buying gadgets though... and I don't want to have to ask or justify every time I want to add a couple Gigs of RAM or upgrade the vid card in my PC. To solve this, we get an "allowance" which acts as our personal money. No talking/asking/thinking about spending it is required. That way I can save my allowance and burn the cash in the backyard (or buy a high priced useless gadget that women would see no value in) if I want and she has no say :) She can do the same.

I think this particular idea has saved us a lot of fights.

Basically, marriage is sacrificing and compromising control (realizing that life no longer revolves around you). But people can't live happily under a dictator or someone who nags, or picks, or is constantly on your back. So you gotta have clearly defined boundaries about what you can control. Money is a good place to do that if you have enough that you can spend a little extra now and then.


RE: Cool
By rushfan2006 on 11/14/2007 3:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Moshie, excellent post. I was going to post my own reply to this thread but you really hit the nail on the head and pretty much stated everything I was going to.

In a nutshell: people jump into marriage too fast these days, society doesn't nearly value the commitment like it used to (its just another "step" or another "checklist item") and finally divorce is too easy a process (though note a very painful one).


RE: Cool
By Polynikes on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Cool
By bobdelt on 11/15/2007 8:58:45 AM , Rating: 1
Actually it's a smart financial decision, more tax deductions, lower tax brackets, lower effective income tax.

Plus, if I can quote the departed....

Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: lets people know you're not a homo; married guy seems more stable; people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch; ladies see the ring, they know immediately you must have some cash or your cock must work.


RE: Cool
By Moishe on 11/15/2007 9:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... good quote. and true.

marriage helps money because of all the things you said, plus you're now sharing expenses. One electric bill instead of two, one rent instead of two, etc... heck. My house doesn't cost anywhere near what two small apartments would cost and I have more room than two small apartments.

Since I got married I went fro having a small amount of debt to having a pile of cash in the bank.


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