Collaborative Law/Mediation and other options for divorce
Collaborative Law is an out-of-court process for resolving a divorce while having your own attorney. Based on the fundamental premise of mutual respect and full disclosure, you, your attorney, your spouse and your spouse’s attorney will work with a coach to guide you through the process of negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement without having the court decide your issues. Below are two links about Collaborative Law that will provide you with additional information as well as a list of attorneys that are qualified as Collaborative Attorneys. Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MCLC)International Academy of Collaborative Practice (IACP)
Mediation is another method utilized to come to an agreement in the divorce process. A professional mediator works with the parties in structuring an equitable settlement. The mediator is an independent and impartial facilitator who is actively engaged in problem solving. The focus is on common goals and working to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. Throughout the divorce mediation process, many issues may be discussed including alimony and spousal support, property division, child related matters and legal separation. Mediators are neutral, trained individuals who help family members facilitate useful discussion. Mediators guide clients through considering possible solutions and options to address various problems through brainstorming, experience and attentive listening. Realistic solutions are proposed and considered during mediation services.
Our attorneys are skilled mediators who can also be involved as attorneys to a party during a mediation.
Arbitration or conciliation can also be used in divorce. A neutral party, the arbitrator or conciliator acts much like a judge in a divorce proceeding. She may work in a formal or informal process to help settle or decide the issues in your divorce case. Arbitration is often more like a traditional divorce in the private arena with less rigid time constraints, and oftentimes a faster process.
The attorneys in our office can also act as private conciliators in your case, working with the parties (and counsel) to resolve the matter. A conciliator will use her experience in the courts to move the parties to what may reasonably occur if the case proceeded to litigation. Either of these options will likely be more efficient than a contested trial in the courtroom, where the Judge is also managing other cases.
Special Masters – Attorneys in our office can be appointed a Master to assist in cases where there are real estate or discovery disputes. The Master can make decisions where the parties cannot agree.