Monday, September 22, 2008

NOLO, Its New Divorce Blog, and Do It Yourself Divorce

Nolo, the very reputable publisher of legal forms, books, and other aids for those with legal problems they can handle on their own ("Do It Yourself" or "DIY") has recently sponsored blogs in various legal areas.

Since April of this year, Nolo’s Divorce, Custody & Family Law Blog has been in operation. Although the blog has not had very many posts to date, the quality is excellent, as the blog is written by California family lawyer Emily Doskow, who is the very author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce.

While on the subject of DIY divorce, I want to say two more things:

1) DIY divorce is not for everyone, and it is best actually to get an initial consultation with a divorce attorney in your state to discern whether you can and should in fact handle your divorce on your own, or whether you need to hire an attorney, mediator, or other professionals. OK, you can stop laughing now. Honest to God, I myself have told many individuals, at their initial free consultations with me, that they should not hire me or anyone else, and should instead consider handling their divorces themselves. Of course, DIY is generally only appropriate when there are few, if any, unresolved issues between the parties, that is, when there is little or nothing in dispute, and also when there are no matters of any complexity.

2) The Nolo book is a good book for general reference and a general understanding of divorce, but one should actually find, if possible, a more specific book applicable to the laws of one's own state. Divorce and family law are governed by state law, and each state's laws, while similar in many respects, are in fact oftentimes quite different.

When I see a good candidate for DIY here in Massachusetts, I show them my copy of How To File For Divorce In Massachusetts, a book written and published by the founders of, Massachusetts' own divorce attorney Sharyn T. Sooho, and Steven L. Fuchs.

Full Disclosure: I am not just an ardent admirer of the book and especially the website,, for which these two are responsible; I am also a longtime member/advertiser on their website, But I get no benefit from this plug, of which the authors have had no advance notice from me, nor have I even informed them that that I have been quietly promoting their book for years. (As for the Nolo book, I do not even know its author nor have I ever communicated with her.)

Now, my own edition of the Massachusetts book is quite old and I am not sure if it has been updated. But it is still the best book - even the old edition I have - which I have seen for DIY divorce on the market in Massachusetts. I have recently seen another book in several of the big bookstores and it seemed reasonably good as well, but the Sooho-Fuchs one is the best.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

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