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Jacqueline M. Eaton

Attorney at law

​Looking for a more cost-effective way of handling your divorce? There are many ways you can try to save costs, but one thing you should absolutely NOT do yourself is write your own "separation agreement" (i.e. Marital Dissolution Agreement).  You should hire a divorce attorney, at a  minimum,  to write and review this Agreement because it is a legally binding contract between you and your spouse that sets forth the terms of your divorce. It may govern your life for years as it spells out required compliance by both parties after your divorce is finalized.

Your agreement should include major items such as:

  • Alimony
  • Division of real estate & retirement accounts (e.g. IRA, pension, 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other deferred compensation)
  • Division of debts, loans or credit cards
  • Custody, visitation plans, child support and college expenses, if applicable.

If the agreement is not thorough and detailed, there can be problems with interpretation down the road.  You may not always get along with your spouse.  Do not assume that your spouse “would never read it that way” or “knows what we meant.” Or worse yet, “the Court will understand that is what we meant”.  Lack of clarity can lead to more anxiety, conflicts, time in court and attorney’s fees.  Except for alimony and matters involving children, very little in the divorce decree can be “fixed” later.

Under the DIY model, while you would represent yourself in your case, Attorney Eaton can use her years of experience to consult with you on a limited basis and assist in the following ways:

  • Provide legal advice and assistance with required documents for you to file on your own
  • Provide legal advice as review counsel as you participate in mediation with a neutral professional
  • Review proposed agreements written by you, your spouse, etc. and provide suggestions on improvements to avoid future problems
  • Write the agreement for you, if you and your spouse have reached an understanding of the basic terms of your divorce

Attorney Eaton has seen many self-represented people who have struggled years later with poorly written agreements.  She can give your agreement undivided attention with an eye toward your best, long term interestsContact Attorney Eaton today to review and/or write your Agreement to help minimize potential future problems.