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Online Divorce, Canadian Style

I've posted previously about budget legal services for divorces, such as Divorce Deli, a restaurant-themed Web site for online divorce, and the 60 Minute Divorce, where lawyers draft and file divorce papers for a low rate while the soon-to-be-exes enjoy a bite at McDonald's or Starbucks. Now, with the launch of My Ontario Divorce, our neighbors to the north also have low-cost divorce options.

As reported in the Toronto Star, is the brainchild of Canadian family law attorney Robert Berman, who offers potential clients a way to walk away from a bad marriage "with [their] dignity and bank account intact." Berman says he originally intended to make the site free with downloadable forms, but he soon realized that even with free forms, litigants still needed assistance to complete them. So instead, Berman developed an online form that meets the court's requirements, along with a program to guide users through the form in the privacy of their own home. Berman offers a money-back guarantee if the forms are rejected by the court.

The site offers several tiers of membership: a pay-as-you-go-option, which costs $497 per form; premium membership, which includes forms, newsletters and seminars for $597 a month; and a premium+ membership, which carries all of the premium features as well as the opportunity to consult with family law experts and ask case-specific questions. These prices seem higher than those at the American sites, but presumably they're still far less costly than hiring a lawyer.

While online legal services are gaining traction in the United States, the article doesn't report on the reception that is receiving from the public.

Are you aware of online legal services -- for family law or other practice areas -- in different countries? Do you think other countries are more or less likely to be receptive to virtual legal services than the United States? Post your comments below.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 24, 2009 at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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