Be Careful of Online Divorce Scams When You Hire An Online Divorce Company
Online divorce is a convenient way to get an uncontested divorce. It has become extremely popular. Online divorce is definitely the most cost-effective way to proceed in a California uncontested divorce – if you can avoid the numerous online divorce scams that await you.
The online divorce industry is completely unlicensed and unregulated. The quality of service you receive from an online divorce provider will be directly related to the level of integrity of the ownership and management of the company you hire. There are several good and honest companies, but the industry is full of frauds and con-men.
Around 1999, the California Bar Association completely failed to recognize and control the opportunities presented to lawyers by the Internet. The Bar looked like a deer in the headlights. I know this because I was involved in talks with the Bar in March, 1999 about the benefits of lawyer usage of online divorce software (mine!). I had written the world’s first divorce software program (for California divorce) in 1983-84, and I had upgraded that software to the Internet by 1999. The Bar officials I spoke to were clueless. They understood nothing about the computerization of divorce. The whole concept was alien. So they did nothing, and as a direct result, thousands of California divorce consumers have been harmed by online divorce scams since that time.
Divorce was going online no matter what. When the California Bar dropped the ball, a vacuum was created and the usual type of Internet con-men filled that vacuum. About 2 dozen substantially dishonest and incompetent online divorce mills out-of-state and in India and Dubai have controlled the California online divorce industry since …… well, since the Internet.
By contrast, in the UK, where I am a barrister, the Bar investigated and made themselves understand the opportunities provided to lawyers by the Internet in certain consumer law areas, such as divorce. As a result, today UK online divorce is completely controlled by lawyers and is safe to use.
What Kind of Online Divorce Con-Man Am I Talking About?
As a prime example, though certainly not the only one, Jason McClain is the owner/operator of both mydivorcepapers.com and idivorceforms.com. Read our full expose of him, but also see the standard of his other business activities here. He is an online pyramid scheme salesman whose partner in the pyramid scheme business is a convicted conman. This indicates the standard of integrity his online divorce companies is likely to bring to your divorce case.
What Online Divorce Scams Am I Talking About?
Well, I’m going to try to keep this to a readable length. If you want more information about online divorce scams than is contained here, go to NetDivorce and search (upper right-hand corner on our top page) for “online divorce scams” or “online divorce fraud.”
In the meantime, here are a few examples that will give you a pretty good idea of what you are facing.
Fake Client Testimonials
Client testimonials are real important in online divorce. They will tell you what kind of service and client support you will likely receive from the online divorce provider in question. However, obviously, the client testimonials have to be real – from real clients. So here is a video about the prime fake testimonial fraudster in California online divorce.
Price Fraud – “Complete” Fees Are Really Monthly Subscriptions. They Hit Your Credit Card EVERY Month!!
The 2 most important factors when you are looking for an online divorce company are price and honesty. Fake client testimonials wipe out the honesty part. Here’s a short video that deals with the most popular price fraud in divorce online.
Here also is a table that illustrates the same monthly subscription price fraud and the main fraudsters.
30-Day Usage Fraud in Online Divorce
“Total Cost” “Cost for Complete Divorce Preparation Service
|instantonlinedivorce.com||$139 “Complete Divorce Forms”||Yes||$35/month||No||No|
|onlinedivorce.com||$139 “Single Flat Fee”||Yes||$19/month or $148/year||Yes||Yes|
|mydivorcepapers.com||$139 “no hidden costs” “Cost for Complete Divorce Preparation Service”||Yes||$25/month||No||Yes|
|completecase.com||$299||Yes||$19/month||Maybe – Unclear and Confusing, but Sort of Disclosed on Pricing Page||Yes|
If you hire NetDivorce, you will get immediate access to our online interview, which is how we gather all of the necessary personal info from you to enable us to prepare all of your state and local county divorce papers. Our interview can be completed in as little as 25 minutes (no kids, no property or debt, good typing skills). But it can also take 60-120 minutes (one or more minor children, many items of property/debt, 2-finger typing.). The average client completes the NetDivorce interview in 60-75 minutes. You should not rush. It is very important to get your case done correctly right from the beginning, and we definitely help you to accomplish that. Many clients complete the interview in one sitting, but the average client completes in 2 or 3 sessions across a day or two.
NetDivorce openly discloses the extent of our interview to you upfront. You know exactly what you are getting into. In fact, you can see our interview in our instructional YouTube video.
And all of our competitors have to gather EXACTLY the same info that we do. No one has a “royal road” or some inside advantage over anyone else as to how much data we need to get from each client. The Judicial Council of California and the state legislature (and to a lesser extent the 58 Presiding Family Law judges statewide) determine exactly what information is required from divorce consumers in California.
Regrettably, our competitors are not quite as honest about this information gathering process as NetDivorce is. Most of our competitors now divide their online interviews into 2 parts. You see one part before you pay them and the other part after you’ve paid. Why? Because they want you to think that the first part is the whole interview so that you will pay them while you are thinking their system is so easy, simple and fast.
This sign-up trick by our online divorce competitors is fraud because it deliberately or knowingly misrepresents or conceals a significant fact (the large amount of data that will be required from each and every divorce consumer) in order to deprive that divorce consumer of the legal right to make his or her own hiring decision, based upon what s/he thinks is the best decision for him or her. Fraud unfairly deprives that divorce consumer of that free decision-making process by tricking him into thinking that a fact is true (our tricky competitors have a shorter or easier or faster online divorce interview) when it is not true (they do not).
Our competitors resort to this type of trickery because they can’t compete with NetDivorce on our industry-low $129 fee with no ups or extras, our 38+ years of experience, our bullet-proof proprietary software or our extensive knowledge of California divorce law and procedure. So they have to trick you into hiring them by making you think that their interview is somehow shorter or easier. It isn’t. Again, they have to gather the exact same info NetDivorce does.
So before you pay them, our tricky competitors show you maybe 8 or 10 very easy questions – your names, genders, what counties you live in, whether there are minor children, whether there are any retirement plans, your email (so that if you don’t pay, they spam you forever), whether your spouse is active duty US military, etc. Most people can answer all of these questions in 10 or 12 minutes. Most are “yes” or “no” answers.
Then when you’ve completed those few easy questions, they hit you up for payment while you’re thinking that everything looks easy – “This is great! Those jerks at NetDivorce said their online interview would take over an hour. These guys are much better and easier. I’m so clever for finding them.” As soon as you’ve paid, they hit you with the other 95% of their interview, which will take you, wait for it, about 60-75 minutes to complete.
Code of Ethics? We Don’t Think So. Fraud Pays Too Well in Online Divorce
NetDivorce is the founding member of the Online Divorce Association of America, which is attempting right now, with very little success to date, to introduce a Code of Ethics into the online divorce industry. Please see that Code of Ethics. Since we
created the Online Divorce Association of America, not one single online divorce company out of the approximately 60 large regional and nationwide Big Divorce Corporations have joined. And it would cost them nothing to join except a pledge to adopt a very basic Code of Ethics.
You need to ask yourself why no nationwide Big Divorce Corporation will agree to a simple and basic Code of Ethics. Online divorce fraud pays extremely well. Be careful when you hire an online divorce company.