Getting Divorced? You Have Options

Couples often discover the preliminary stages of the divorce process overwhelming due to the many issues they need to consider. Among these are questions about support, asset division, and children. Reaching agreement on these issues is almost never easy, and couples tend to be besieged with advice from well meaning friends and family, and articles such as this. The reason why this process may be so bewildering is because each situation requires a distinctive solution. Save the simplest cases, you will find no standard resolutions. Thus, the guidelines of family law are intentionally flexible and lacking in clear guidance and rules. In light of this, couples must first understand their choices when obtaining a divorce. These generally include litigation, mediation, and collaborative law. Each approach has its advantages and its advocates. It’s around each couple to attempt to find out what process suits them best, rather than focusing on specific solutions.


The original and most common approach for working with divorce is litigation. Every individual hires his / her own attorney who files the case in court and obtains court orders regarding custody, support and property division. Most attorneys practicing family law is likely to make an initial effort to amicably resolve the case, but if settlement is not reached quickly, the standard approach is to find court involvement. There’s a wide variance however you like among family lawyers, and clients retaining counsel must have extended conversations using their lawyers about their philosophy, experience and customary practices. As an example, you will find attorneys who will not negotiate until temporary court orders are obtained from a court or until a case is prepared for trial. These lawyers view any fascination with early negotiation as a sign of weakness to be exploited by another side. While you will find cases where this method is the sole appropriate one, for many people this approach should be a last resource when other less aggressive approaches have been tried and failed. Since aggressive litigation is probably the most costly process and the one almost certainly to produce emotional and financial pain, clients must be careful who they hire to represent them and should be careful to keep up control of their attorney. By the end of the case, the lawyer moves on to another case. The clients must cope with the wreckage left behind.



Mediation is probably the most well known option to litigation. Mediation encourages clients to hire a simple, divorce mediator, usually an attorney or a family group therapist, to meet with them. A mediator will conduct as much sessions as necessary to greatly help clients reach agreement on the issues, without resorting to a courtroom. A mediator does not play the role of arbitrator or decision-maker; rather he or she facilitates resolution. Mediation may be faster and far less costly because couples only have to hire one individual to eliminate their issues. Mediation is most likely to be the process that permits parties to preserve relationships and avoid the acrimony that can create years of hard feeling and damage children. Most mediators encourage clients to consult with experienced family lawyers as coaches during the process so that they are fully informed as they make commitments.


Collaborative Law

A comparatively new way of divorce is collaborative law. Its popularity keeps growing around the world as both lawyers and clients are finding it useful using cases. In a collaborative law case, each client selects an attorney who makes a commitment not to attend court to eliminate the case. Each lawyer actually agrees in writing that he or she will withdraw from the case when it goes to court as a contested matter. This feature of collaborative law was developed to meet the perceived problem of lawyers churning cases for their very own benefit. Massachusetts Divorce Attorneys By agreeing beforehand not to take the case when it goes to court, all questions in regards to the attorney’s motivation are resolved. In the collaborative law process, both parties hire the exact same appraisers, the exact same pension actuaries and thereby reduce gamesmanship and cost. Experienced collaborative lawyers report that by eliminating the threat of’I’ll see you in court,’ the process of resolving differences can proceed in an orderly, creative and non destructive way. Although slightly more expensive than mediation, collaborative law permits the parties to have meaningful involvement of attorneys who will help with technical and creative solutions, without running the risk that the specific situation will degenerate right into a war. Many clients discover that mediation without the active participation of personal attorneys, is a little threatening, especially in a predicament where one of the parties has superior knowledge or negotiating skills.


No matter what one of these simple three legal options couples choose, they need to be focused on their very own personal well-being and that of their families. Nobody likes the idea of divorce, but there’s no reason why marriage has to become a costly courtroom drama.

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