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DIY or traditional divorce — which is better?

When considering divorce, Massachusetts couples have a number of options at their disposal. As every situation is different, having options is generally considered a good thing; however, when it comes to divorce, not all options are created equal. While do-it-yourself divorces are becoming fairly popular, the settlements offered in these types of divorces can be lacking.

The goal of most DYI projects is to save time and money. When it comes to divorce, a do-it-yourself filing may cost less in the beginning and take less time to complete, but a great deal of money and assets can be overlooked. This can ultimately cost one or both parties more in the long-run. DIY divorces offer very basic settlements; those with significant assets, including property and retirement plans, may not get their fair share when all is said and done.

While the idea of a traditional divorce may seem intimidating, having an experienced family law attorney on your side can help ensure a fair and balanced settlement is reached. Issues surrounding child custody and support payments can be individualized to meet specific family needs. Concerns about property and other assets can be negotiated and an equitable distribution can be arranged. All of these issues will not receive the same attention to detail in a DYI divorce filing.

So which is better, a DYI or traditional divorce? That is a very personal question that couples will need to answer for themselves. However, understanding the benefits and potential problems of each could help in the decision making process. For Massachusetts couples with very specific needs and who want to make sure nothing is overlooked before their divorce is finalized, a family law attorney can be of assistance.

Source:, “Doing your own divorce isn’t advisable“, Dennis Beaver, Dec. 12, 2014


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