Boston Mediation Attorneys
We Help Divorcing Couples Split as Peaceful as Possible
Family problems are so difficult to handle because the parties usually live together. Even if separated, they often have to deal with each other for financial or personal reasons, kids for example. Attempts at resolving the problems often just create more of them. At times, going to court and defeating a member of the family might make things worse in the long haul.
One way that the legal profession has sought to address the inherent tensions in family law is to train active mediators. These attorneys, such as of Infinity Law Group in Massachusetts, help families work through hard times to reach equitable agreements.
The overall goal of family mediation is to create peace in the homestead, which is good for society as a whole. Here are some of the most important benefits of family law mediation.
Preventing Contentious Divorces
Divorce does not have to be contentious. Yes, that is the way it seems in the movies and on reality televisions shows; however, couples can agree to break up without all the animosity. If so, in the end, everyone, especially the children, can walk away with their self-respect, dignity and confidence.
In Massachusetts, there are both no fault and fault categories of divorces. In no fault cases, the parties decide to split without blaming one another for the dissolution. These divorces contrast with the fault cases, where one of the spouses must provide to the court evidence of extenuating circumstances that make the marriage impossible. Adultery is one such commonly accepted rationale.
A no-fault divorce can prove less costly and, definitely, less acrimonious than a fault one. The problem for some couples is that to reach this stage where no-fault is a possibility, they must first agree on the dissolution terms. Allocation of property, amount of child support and assumption of child custody being regular sources of contention.
Mediation attorneys can help put divorcing spouses on the right path. These professional advisors meet with the parties to work together to create settlement terms that all can respect. Hopefully, everyone involved, especially children, will live subsequently as normally as possible once the divorce becomes final. The possible alternative, fighting in open court, often leaves too much pain.
Renegotiation of Divorce Terms
Oftentimes, after signing the terms of divorce, circumstances change for one party. They may find that their income is not as much as they had expected. They may realize that they do not have enough time to pick up the kids as promised. Others may want to spend more time with sons and daughters now that their personal life is more stable than it had been. Yet, these changes must first meet court approval and, of course, the other party should receive notification.
It is much easier to first discuss the desired changes with the former spouse in a calm, non-adversarial environment. A mediation attorney provides just such an opportunity. They are trained to listen to both sides and work out a solution that leaves everyone better off; in stark contrast to adversarial courtroom battles where the required objective is to win the case for a client through zealous representation.
Family Law Issues Don’t Need to Be a Battle
Often, when people are thinking about bringing an issue to the family courts, one of the great sources of stress is the assumption that what is coming next is a protracted battle over a myriad of issues like is often depicted in movies and on TV. Many people reach out to us to talk about filing a case and getting the ball rolling before they’ve spoken directly with their spouse, ex-spouse, or their child’s other parent. While there are certain situations where this sort of “surprise” is necessary–where there are concerns about the safety, or it’s clear that the two parties are incapable of having any productive conversation about the issue at hand–more often than not, this isn’t the case.
The issues a family court can decide like how to split assets and debts in a divorce, how parents are going to share time with their children, whether parents will be required to make decisions together and if so how they will do this, how much child support should be paid, etc. are issues that the two parties can resolve largely between themselves or with a little bit of assistance and guidance from attorneys or a mediator. This option is usually the quickest, easiest, and least expensive both financially and emotionally. The Probate and Family Courts in Massachusetts have even recently passed new rules that make filing mutual agreements on the issues as a whole (judgments) or mutual agreements for temporary fixes to immediate issues (temporary orders) easier.
If you are seeking a divorce or a parenting plan, the first step is usually to talk to the other parent. Nobody knows your family better than the members of that family, which means those people are best suited to making decisions that work for your family. We always encourage clients to try and work things out first. A decision from the judge should always be a last resort.
The first step is knowing what issues you need to think about or resolve.
Mediation is a Viable Alternative to Contention
As shown here, there is at least one alternative to an all-out court battle in Massachusetts divorce proceedings. Indeed, mediation is becoming a popular means for resolving marriage splits around the world. People realize that if they have reached the point of being unable to resolve their differences, then they can dissolve the marriage without doing further harm.
Of course, the two former partners may not depart as friends, but at least they will both be able to avoid much of the animosity that marks so many divorces.
If you are considering mediation, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.