The Truth About “Free” Legal Forms

Don’t be misled. If you see any company offering “free” Missouri divorce forms – don’t walk – run from that slippery sucker! They aren’t going to give you anything. Then if they want to sell them to you, run faster! They want to lure you into their reach so they can sell you something that in many cases you can’t even use. They don’t spend advertising dollars just so they can give you something for nothing. Worse yet, the Missouri Courts actually do provide free Dissolution of Marriage forms directly to the public. Because the Missouri forms were drafted and approved by the Missouri Supreme Court, many Missouri Courts will not accept the forms these companies created in the first place. If a company is trying to steer you toward anything else, you will pay for that something else you finally do get.

What About Cheap Forms?

Some online options enable people to do virtually all of the paperwork for uncontested divorces themselves. These companies usually charge between $250 and $300 to prepare basic uncontested divorce forms. However, because these are document companies and not law firms, there is no legal representation. They only provide a set of document templates (that may not be accepted by many Missouri Courts) and some automated word processing.

Anyone in Missouri that is considering going it alone without an attorney to assist with his or her divorce proceeding should, at least go online to the Missouri Courts’ Litigant Awareness Program. This program explains the risks of going through the process without an attorney. It helps you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for representing yourself. And finally, it generates a certificate of completion that many Missouri Courts require if you are filing without an attorney.

There are Affordable Options – You Just Have to do Your Homework

So is there really any such thing as a free dissolution package? Yes. Well, almost. If you go to the Missouri Courts’ website, complete the Litigant Awareness Program, and download and complete the free forms in their Dissolution of Marriage Package, then your only costs for an uncontested divorce will be the filing fee and (if necessary) the service of process fee.

If you want to represent yourself, but also want assistance in completing the free forms followed by professional legal review to make sure you don’t miss something important, all of that is available for less than some companies charge for the forms you didn’t need to buy in the first place.

Missouri Legal Solutions offers a non-contested divorce package that includes access to a step by step video to help clients complete the forms and file the approved documents plus a final review by an attorney before the documents are filed with the Court. This gives those who want to do some of the work, the best of both worlds. Every question on the forms is explained, there is an attorney available to ask if something is not clear, and the petition and related documents get legal review before they are filed with the Court.

It’s your life and your money. So you have to make your own decisions. But be careful. You know “there ain’t no free lunch.”