We live in a litigious society with literally hundreds of thousands of regulations that can cause any number of snafus in life if not navigated correctly. Most of us will go to court several times in life, as well as, require the use of legal documentation. Unfortunately, this can be expensive to pay in an hourly manner. Fortunately, there is the Internet. Free legal forms are advertised all over the web. Because of the repercussions of anything dealing with the law, some are hesitant to use them or wonder when it is appropriate to.
Online legal forms were designed for those generic legal transactions that do not require specific case knowledge or expertise (other than in the draft) to be successful. They are perfect for handling straight forward items like: uncontested divorce complaints, incorporation, wills, bill of sales, employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, landlord – tenant agreements, etc. Again, these can be excellent ways of reducing cost for a small business or handling a legal affair that is straight forward.
As far as when not to use them, the answer is contained within the websites distributing the forms. Only those transactions or motions that are simple and uncomplicated will be available online. Contested divorce motions won’t be found online.
Criminal defense motions will not be found online…yet. If it is complicated or requires individual knowledge of the scenario then you will be referred to or encouraged to find an attorney. Rule of thumb is that if a website is run by a law firm and has online forms, you are probably safe to use one of them.