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Saturday, March 21, 2009

DIY Divorce -- Will It Work For You?

"DIY Divorce" - In the news recently on The Boston Globe's website
Author: Meredith Goldstein

In the article, Attorney Steven Ballard stated, "[t]he reality is that people can represent themselves in many cases," Ballard says. "It's been my practice to tell clients . . . they can handle the divorce themselves. If there are little in the way of assets to divide, if there are no children, there's no reason people shouldn't go into court and grab the papers themselves." Ballard recommends the book "How to File for Divorce in Massachusetts" by Sharyn T. Sooho and Steven L Fuchs.

Our firm generally agrees with Attorney Ballard. Certain couples can handle their divorce on their own -- pro se. However, we've seen far more situations where couples attempt to work out their divorce on their own and end up with more problems than they knew they had to begin with. Often these couples end up spending far more than they would have if they had sought professional advice at the outset.

If you are considering donning your DIY divorce tool belt consider these factors first:

1) Are you generally able to communicate rationally with each other?

2) Do you agree on how your assets and debts will be divided?

3) Do you agree on whether one of you will need spousal support and, if so, how much?

4) Do you agree on who will be the primary caregiver for the children?

5) Do you agree on how and when each of you will spend time with the children?

6) Do you agree on how much each of you will contribute to supporting the children?

7) Do you agree on which partner will be responsible for providing health insurance for the other and for the children?

If you answered "no" to any one of these questions, then you should seek professional advice before you begin the divorce process. An experienced attorney can help you identify several solutions and obtain the most fair and equitable settlement possible.

Our attorneys and staff understand your need to conserve funds. But remember, divorce is difficult and painful. Sometimes, it's best for you to hand off the hard parts so that you remain focused on you.

If you are contemplating a divorce or separation, find out what you need to know before you begin. Simply contact us at

Submitted by Glenn Biggs, paralegal.

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