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Commentators: think twice about a DIY divorce

There's no doubt that we live in an acronym-laden world these days, with the speed and pace of life often yielding shorthand depictions for things that used to be spelled out.

Take the letters DIY, for example, which are scattered across a recent Reuters article on couples seeking to dissolve marriages without help from an experienced divorce attorney.

If you don't already know what DIY stands for, we're guessing that you can make an educated guess. It is an abbreviated take on "do it yourself." In the realm of family law, it appears frequently these days in reference to couples taking a go-it-alone approach toward marital dissolution.

And it boils down to a simple question: Do you need a lawyer to divorce?

Multiple commentators in the above-cited Reuters piece caution would-be DIY advocates to think hard before responding "no" to that inquiry, especially in instances where retirement accounts and even a base level of complexity exists.

One writer notes that, although "it may seem reasonable to just split up the retirement assets and each go your separate ways," such thinking can be perilously simplistic.

Moreover, it can end up costing divorcing parties a hefty sum of money, especially compared with cost savings they might have otherwise reaped by enlisting the help of a proven divorce lawyer.

Dealing with various retirement vehicles (e.g., pensions, 401(k) accounts, stock options and so forth) can open up a proverbial can of worms regarding differentiated processes, timeframes and other exactions. Properly identifying, valuing and dividing retirement accounts "is thorny," notes one writer.

We intimately know that at the Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., an established family law firm in Wellesley. We routinely work with diverse clients to reach equitable outcomes regarding complex asset division matters.

We welcome readers' contacts to the firm to discuss how we diligently seek to promote best-case outcomes in every case we handle.

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