You may be a good candidate for a do-it-yourself divorce if you and your spouse agree on all issues (division of property, custody, and support), have complete information about your family’s assets and debts which are fairly simple, and feel comfortable with the arrangements for your children in terms of custody and support as well as shared parenting time. Other factors that might make you a good candidate include if there is no child or spousal abuse involved; if both spouses want to end the marriage; if one spouse has been out of work for an extended period of time; or if one spouse wants to move away from the other.
You can save money by not hiring a traditional attorney or mediator on either side who aggravate the situation, thus increasing attorney’s time and fees.
Don’t Hire an attorney to “get back” at your spouse
This is a very bad idea for two reasons. First, except in extremely egregious cases, most courts won’t punish your spouse financially for being a bad person. Second, hiring an attorney to punish your spouse will cost you because your attorney will need to increase the number of hours spent on your case. Increased attorney hours means higher divorce costs, and higher divorce costs means there will be less money available for other things like child support or alimony payments.
A DIY divorce attorney can save you money on legal fees but it does not mean that everything will go smoothly.
There are many important steps that must be taken before filing for dissolution so it’s best to hire the right divorce attorney first.
Uncontested divorce is not just filling out forms. It’s writing the judgment for a judge and if it isn’t written properly, there could be all sorts of problems down the line with enforcement or modification in court. The DIY approach may seem cheaper up front – but chances are you’ll definitely save money on attorney fees by going to an experienced lawyer who has seen what can happen when these documents aren’t drafted well from day one.
It is difficult to know for sure what the judge will do when it comes time to divide property in a divorce case, but Massachusetts does not follow community property rules. In this state, only assets acquired during marriage are considered marital and subject to division should you get divorced.