Massachusetts Collaborative Divorce Process

If you are facing a Massachusetts divorce, you need solutions that will work best for you and your family. For many families, expensive and stressful litigation is not the best option.

Fortunately, options exist to the traditional court-based divorce. If you prefer to stay in control of your divorce while maintaining a dignified process that considers the well-being of children one of the highest priorities, then you should give the Massachusetts collaborative divorce process a closer look.

In a collaborative divorce, each party agrees to resolve all outstanding issues outside of court. They do this by each retaining an attorney who has received specialized training in the collaborative method. The parties may also use other professionals as part of the collaborative team, including divorce coaches (who assist the parties in communicating efficiently and effectively), Financial Neutrals (who assist the parties in understanding the financial impacts and tax consequences of their decisions) and even child specialists (in situations where custody or parenting plans are in dispute). The attorneys each provide support and guidance to their individual client, while the other specialists act as neutral members of the team. The teams then meet jointly with the parties in as many meetings as are necessary in order to reach a comprehensive agreement on all matters. Several key concepts provide the framework for collaborative divorce, such as maintaining respectful communications, a pledge not to go to court until the final divorce agreement is completed, and a full exchange of information by both spouses. The process emphasizes the needs of both spouses and their children and alternative solutions that are in the best interests of the entire family are explored and discussed. Unlike court, the timetable can be controlled by the parties, all negotiation details are kept private, and the costs are oftentimes less expensive than protracted litigation.

Over the past few years, collaborative divorce has become the dispute resolution method of choice in a number of high-profile cases, including those of actor and comedian Robin Williams and Roy Disney. Although most cases can be handled in this fashion, a collaborative divorce may not be appropriate for everyone.

For many couples collaborative divorce is a smart way to manage the turmoil that often accompanies a traditional litigated divorce and minimize the negative effects divorce can have on children. Certainly, couple’s relationships change when they experience the end of their marriage. Collaborative divorce respects the past while empowering people to maintain healthy and respectful relationships in the future. This is a good thing, and especially helpful for couples who will be parenting their children together for years to come.

To speak with Leila Wons, our experienced Massachusetts Collaborative Divorce Attorney, please call us at (508) 346-3805. For more information on collaborative divorce and to download your own collaborative law information packet, visit The Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council website: www.massclc.org.