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Why not go with a "Document Service Company" to process my Divorce?

Posted by attorney David Bliven

Especially in New York City, there are many "document service companies" which have offices, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, promising to do "uncontested divorces" for cheap prices. Unfortunately, many people go with such places because they simply cannot afford the higher fees attorneys much charge (given our many more years of schooling & experience).

What these companies don't tell people is that they are not attorneys, nor have any specialized legal training. Indeed, often times they say the person is a paralegal when they're not.

Allow me to share one story which illustrates why going with such companies may sound good to your wallet, but ultimately may result in more money & headches. One client retained a document service company. The company filed the divorce in the wrong county, then made a mistake in serving the Husband which caused my client significant additional fees to fix.

Additional problems, however, were found in the paperwork. The "document service company" did not include jurisdictionally-mandatory language in the court summons, subjecting her entire case to dismissal. The problem comes in where there are periodic changes to the divorce laws which attorneys are intimately aware of, but the workers at the "document service companies" don't bother to track. In any event, it took significant additional time and money to fix the mistake.

In sum, you get what you pay for. Sometimes in life you need to pay a little more to ensure you get a quality service.

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