Cheap Divorce in Santa Monica – What is a Cheap Divorce?
If you’re in the Santa Monica area and you’ve made the difficult personal decision to end your marriage or domestic partnership, and you and your spouse/partner have an uncontested divorce where you are both in agreement, then you WANT a cheap divorce in Santa Monica. The purpose of this article is to assist you to get that cheap divorce in Santa Monica.
Online divorce is definitely the best way to get a cheap divorce in Santa Monica in an uncontested divorce situation. Online divorce is not only cheaper but also far more convenient than traditional full-representation by a lawyer. And there have been great improvements in the power, cost-effectiveness and convenience of divorce software since I wrote the world’s first divorce software package for California divorce way back in 1983-4. I’ve updated my own software constantly since then, and it is much better and more powerful than it was originally.
There are two cost components to any cheap divorce in Santa Monica. You may know already that almost all California Superior Courts charge a divorce filing fee of $435 (at this writing) unless you have a low income. If you have a low income or receive certain types of public assistance, the Superior Court fee can be waived. The second cost component of your cheap divorce in Santa Monica is the fee charged by the online divorce company you hire to prepare all of your docs.
Primarily, you want to hire someone who is skilled and honest. If you pay a small amount of money to a completely incompetent online divorce company that screws up your case, that’s not going to be a cheap divorce in Santa Monica. If you pay a small fee upfront but get caught with never-ending, often fraudulent, hidden fees, up-selling of additional services, that’s not a cheap divorce in Santa Monica either.
Obviously, you want to hire a competent trustworthy company AND pay a reasonable fee.
Online divorce fees currently range from an industry low of $129 at NetDivorce to $4500 at Hello Divorce. The median industry fee is approximately $300, but the addition in the past few years of very expensive up-selling “boutique” or “feel-good” sites such as hellodivorce.com, itsovereasy.com, wevorce.com and separate.us has increased the average online divorce fee to $750. That does not include the up-selling. And there’s a lot of up-selling. Almost every site in our survey engages in rampant up-selling, price fraud and client testimonial fraud of some type. I’ve written extensively about client testimonial fraud.
How To Get a Cheap Divorce in Santa Monica
Well, in a way, it’s easy: you just avoid price fraud and the very-expensive business practices of some online divorce companies and then you make one final choice. And the final choice is real easy. It’s just based on your gut-reaction to one question and you will know the answer immediately. So let’s concentrate on avoiding the price fraud and expensive business practices first.
Obviously, to avoid price fraud and poor business practices leading to higher prices, you have to know about those situations and be able to identify them. Regrettably, online divorce is currently completely unregulated and full of incompetence and fraud. I’ll present a complete solution to that problem below, but right now I’ll provide two examples of what to avoid – one general example of high prices due to bad business practices and a specific example of price fraud. These are just two examples of what to avoid. There are many more.
Example #1: Avoid High Prices Caused by Poor Business Practices; This is NOT Cheap Divorce in Santa Monica
Most divorce consumers find an online divorce company to hire by going to google.com or using the default search engine (usually Google) built into their browsers. You punch in the search phrase, “online divorce” or “cheap divorce near me” or whatever and boom – there’s a search engine results page. On the Google search engine results page, the top 4 search results and the bottom 3 search results on each page are the paid ads. They are indicated by this image:
The companies whose ads are marked by that image are paying Google for Pay Per Click. Those companies bid against each other for the top 7 ad spots on that first search results page because they know that divorce consumers are very likely going to hire someone on that top page. It’s expensive real estate and you, as a wise divorce consumer, need to know about it.
At this writing, the bid required to get onto the first page for the search phrase “online divorce” is about $9. For “cheap divorce” it’s about $6. If an online divorce company using Google’s Pay Per Click bidding gets one paying client from every 20 clicks, they are doing well. The results of most companies are not that good. So if you search for “online divorce” and then click on one of the ads indicated by and then you hire one of those top 4 or bottom 3 online divorce companies on that first page, you just paid approximately $9 X 20 clicks= $180 to Google, and Google doesn’t even handle divorce!! You thought Google search was free, right? Nothing’s free at Google Pay Per Click. You just hired a company that has to charge you $180 to pay Google for your business before they even make $1 in profit. How smart is that – for them and you? And the company didn’t pay that money. YOU DID!! You paid it in higher fees. That’s why completecase.com charges $300 for the exact same service for which NetDivorce charges $129.
And completecase.com gets more cases than NetDivorce only because they are nationwide and we specialize in California divorce only. We don’t know how many California cases completecase.com gets but we bet it’s fewer than we get, and that’s because of our smarter $129 fee. $129 or $300 for the same service is a fairly easy choice for most divorce consumers.
NetDivorce’s case acquisition cost is ZERO. We pay nothing to get cases. How do we do that? We use ONLY what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – a wide range of fairly complex and time-consuming organic practices that enhance our ability to get our unpaid ad on that top search results page somewhere in between the top 4 and the bottom 3. In other words, by spending a lot of time to make good videos and write high-quality interesting articles, like this one, containing information divorce consumers want to know and will spend time reading, we EARN our position on page 1. We don’t buy our position. We earn it. And it costs nothing if you handle your SEO in-house, which we do. And we’re very good at it. You will never see our ads in the top 4 or the bottom 3. You will usually see our ad somewhere in the middle of that search engine results page.
So don’t hire a company dumb enough and lazy enough to play the Pay Per Click game. They play. You pay. Hire someone from that middle section on the Google search engine page – below the top 4 and above the bottom 3. They earned that position, and they’ve earned your business.
NetDivorce and completecase.com make about the same profit per case – about $120. NetDivorce charges $129. Completecase,com charges $300. Same profit. Hire someone smarter from the SEO section of the search results page and don’t pay for their case-acquisition cost!!
Example #2: Avoid Price Fraud; This is NOT Cheap Divorce in Santa Monica
When you know how much money you just saved with that one simple insight from example #1 above, don’t then throw that money and more away. NetDivorce’s flat $129 fee is for a COMPLETE case, beginning to end. There are no ups or extras – EVER. You cannot pay us more! Don’t even ask.
We know that none of our competitors can come close to matching our fee. You now know the main reason – Pay Per Click. However, there are other reasons they cannot match our $129. They don’t have our wicked-cool bulletproof proprietary software (that’s the much-upgraded software I originally wrote back in 1983-4) and other custom cloud systems developed by me over the past 20 years or our 37+ years experience in handling ONLY California divorce. Our closest competitor that does a good job and provides a complete service is completecase.com at $300.
So we at NetDivorce were surprised when we saw (about September, 2018) that two of our most incompetent and fraudulent competitors, getdivorcepapers.com and instantonlinedivorce.com, both located in India, were quoting the same $129 fee as NetDivorce. We knew this couldn’t be, particularly as they invest heavily in Google AdWords Pay Per Click – the competitive and wasteful bidding process that greatly increases their costs of doing business and therefore, their fees. See above.
If you ever want to know what recent frauds are being used by getdivorcepapers.com, it’s easy. You just go read their 102 Better Business Bureau complaints. It’s all there. You won’t have to read beyond the most recent 5 complaints to find out that their $129 is NOT a complete fee. What a surprise! It’s a subscription for the first month only! After that first 30 days, they auto-hit your credit card for $35 per month. It takes 6 months to complete a California divorce.
Just for fun, we called getdivorcepapers.com and spoke to a heavily Indian-accented fellow calling himself Shane. Shane didn’t want to admit it, but probably knows about recording devices. So Shane eventually admitted, after we hit him with the question 3 or 4 times, that their $129 is only for the first 30 days. We told Shane that we couldn’t see that mentioned anywhere on his website, and then he hung up on us. Imagine that.
Instantonlinedivorce.com is owned by the same Indian guy who owns getdivorcepapers.com. He lives in Dubai. We would have liked to call instantonlinedivorce.com too, but they don’t even list a phone number on their website.
Be very careful, folks. The online divorce industry is completely unregulated. We’ve filed 2 slam-dunk criminal complaints with the FBI online fraud division in the last 3 years and no action was taken on either. We’ll probably file on this one too – and nothing will happen. Divorce consumers are getting hurt and no one cares.
Don’t hire any online divorce company unless you see the Online Divorce Association of America seal on its website – just like the one at the top of NetDivorce’s homepage
Do You Want To Get the Cheapest Possible Divorce or Do You Want the Best of Both Worlds?
That’s the final question I promised you. And it’s as simple as that. Go with your gut answer. Your instinct will know exactly what to do.
NetDivorce and Online Divorce Lawyer are sister companies owned by Legal Marketing Systems. They use the exact same divorce software and the exact same case tracking, communications and client support systems. They are both wicked cool. I’ve listed the main features of each service under their logos below.
- Flat fee of $129 – no ups or extras ever
- 37+ years experience of handling nothing but California divorce
- No fraud of any kind-see our no fraud pledge and membership in the Online Divorce Association of America
- Unlimited client support by phone, email or live chat M-F 7 AM – 7 PM
- Check our certified client testimonials at Business Consumer Alliance, Yelp and Google.
- A local licensed California lawyer reviews your legal docs before they are filed
- You use, and pay for, a lawyer only where and when one is needed
- The lawyer can provide a legal rights checkup and legal advice and discusses strategy with you, as determined by the facts of your case
- If a problem develops in the case, you already have a lawyer on your side who is familiar with the case and can step in at a different fee to litigate or mediate the problems that have arisen
- If your case remains uncontested and no problems arise, you pay a competitive fee that is similar to those charged by unqualified, out-of-state online divorce mills for much less valuable work
- See our Online Divorce Lawyer Locator – Just enter your 5-digit home zip code.
So…..if you want to keep your costs the lowest possible – no matter what – your choice is NetDivorce. If you don’t mind paying a little more – often in the $700-1000 range – so very comparable to non-lawyer unregulated out-of-state divorce mills who do crap work – to have the effective insurance policy of a licensed local California divorce lawyer on your team in a cost-effective way – your choice is Online Divorce Lawyer. Whichever choice you make, you’ll be happy and you’ll have a cheap divorce in Santa Monica. We’ve got you covered both ways. Good luck in your case and thanks for reading.