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The varying costs of a divorce in Massachusetts

For many individuals in Massachusetts who are ready to end their marriages, money may not be the deciding factor. If a divorce is necessary or best, the financial implications might be daunting, but they will likely not dissuade those involved from their course of action. However, as costs add up, money worries can definitely become a concern throughout divorce proceedings and even in the aftermath, which is why there are options divorcing individuals may wish to consider that might help lower the overall costs.

On average, spouses with children who will need to work out custody arrangements will have a more costly divorce, and this is likely unavoidable. Likewise, divorcing couples with a high-net worth will probably face more expenses in regard to property and asset division. Additionally, fault-based divorces (as opposed to no-fault or uncontested ones) generally have a higher-than-average cost as well.

One way of keeping costs lower is avoiding litigation, and a key to avoiding litigation has been shown to be alternative dispute resolution, commonly known as mediation. Mediation is growing rapidly in popularity, as not only can it lessen stress for all parties involved, it also tends to mean lower costs all around. When everyone involved in the divorce agrees on all of the issues, they can get an uncontested divorce, which typically takes a good deal less time and thus results in fewer fees.

While some people believe they can save money by sidestepping lawyers altogether, many -- if not most -- professionals advise against this do-it-yourself route. On paper, this approach may cost less in the short run, but it can end up having expensive financial and even emotional repercussions down the road, whether as the result of mistakes or simple oversights due to a lack of understanding. In fact, it is not even an option in cases where minor children are involved. Indeed, any residents of Massachusetts who are considering ending their marriage would be well advised to discuss their financial options with an experienced family law attorney, as they will undoubtedly find the counsel they receive to be almost invaluable in ensuring the best possible divorce outcome.

Source: tnledger.com, "The many costs of divorce", Linda Bryant, March 3, 2017

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