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The benefits of collaborative divorce and family law mediation

The prospect of a divorce conjures images of lengthy court battles and bitter fights for many Massachusetts residents. Although litigation cannot be avoided in every case, family law mediation or collaborative divorce offer realistic alternatives to the traditional path of litigation.

The term "collaborative divorce" has been coined to describe a new trend of alternative dispute resolution. It focuses on an out-of-court approach to solving family law issues. This saves couples both time and money in the divorce process. It also greatly reduces the amount of stress placed on former spouses. It can even help former couples get along better after a divorce, which is especially important if minor children are involved. The collaborative process can include health professionals, accountants and business consultants. High rates of success are attributed to those who undergo collaborative divorces.

Collaborative divorces place both parties in a neutral setting with their lawyers. Positive and open discussions are encouraged so that the parties can work together to reach a property settlement agreement. All family law issues are addressed during the collaborative divorce process. Issues related to property division, child custody, child support and spousal support are addressed. At the end of the process, parties move forward from their divorce without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.

Mediation is another option for many Salem couples. A neutral third party helps guide both parties to a resolution of their disputes in an informal, private setting. Mediation is not binding, but is instead meant to facilitate agreement between the parties themselves. Much like collaborative divorce, it can help former couples save money and greatly reduce the stress associated with traditional litigation. For those facing a divorce, an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney can provide further insight into the benefits of collaborative divorce and mediation.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Collaborative divorce avoids going to court to settle differences," Kim Lyons, Oct. 7, 2013

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