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 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

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).

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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