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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 theapparition on 11/15/2007 8:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'd also like to echo sympathies to Jason for your troubles, but you have to do what's best for all involved. Sometimes, that means working it out, sometimes getting separated/divorced. Just make sure you understand your reasonings, I've seen great marriages thrown away because one party had a "temporary" crisis. I've also seen bad marriages turned into great divorced friends.

I agree with you Lord666, getting married was the best decision of my life. Without my wife's support while in college, business, and starting my own business, I doubt I'd be anywhere I am today. Married very young, now 15years strong, been with her for 20 (damn, I'm getting old). Every day is better than the one before it.

As for financial sense, getting married definitely makes sense. First is the big one, you only have to pay for one residence (yes you could live together, but you may lose out on other benefits). With proper planning, you can eliminate most of the marriage tax "penalty", which is even getting phased out. You also have a pooled income to use. As TomZ pointed out in another post, there are numerous intangible other benefits such as support when sick/disabled/unemployed, emotional support, etc. If you have children, that may certainly reduce your income/time/lifestyle, but that is a choice (and a choice that may be the best one you've ever made).

It comes at the cost that marriage is not free. It takes time and effort. You will argue and you will have fights. You will not always agree. But there should always be respect; once that is gone, it's time to move on. But the "new age" cynical view that marriage is bad is just naive. I can be the best decision of your life. And sometimes getting out of a bad union can be a great decision. There is no "one-size-fits-all" answers to life.

Let me just say this as diplomatically as possible. Things are better than ever after 20years. Leave the rest to your imagination. ;-)

I applaud Broward counties' online process, though. Anytime the government makes it easier to do something without the need for an attorney, we all win.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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