Alternative Divorce Methods in Massachusetts

There are some cases in which divorcing couples seek alternative methods that exist outside of a courtroom. While it is not possible for all couples, some are able to settle the terms of their divorce without the assistance of a judge. It is because of this that there are other options available to a couple that allows them to end their marriage without litigation. These methods exist to give couples the opportunity to come to agreements on their own terms. Within these proceedings, spouses discuss arrangements on marital issues such as child support, child custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Mediated Divorce

One commonly used alternative method of divorce is mediation. In mediation, spouses are given the opportunity to discuss and negotiate the terms of their separation regarding any unresolved marital issues. This method takes place with an unbiased third party to assist the spouses in reaching decisions that work best for them. This third party exists to help mediate any disagreements that may take place during the process.

Once these issues are agreed upon, the third party can draft a divorce agreement for the spouses to sign. After this is done, the document can be presented to the court for it to agree upon. If the court does agree, the couple may be granted a Judgement of Divorce.

The process of mediation has no set length. It can last for as long as the couple needs in order to reach the agreements they need. Because of this, there are no time constraints or pressure put upon the couple to meet a certain deadline of any kind. This allows the couple to take the time they need to reach amicable decisions.

Collaborative Divorce

The alternative of a collaborative divorce also allows couples to go through the proceedings outside of court. When a couple decides to engage in a collaborative divorce, they participate in a series of four-way meetings. These meetings work to focus on allowing the couple to come to an agreement on their marital issues. Different than mediation, the negotiations in this method of divorce are guided by attorneys to help spouses reach amicable agreements.

The process of collaborative divorce is supported by a Participation Agreement. This Agreement is signed by both spouses and their respective attorneys. It outlines the obligations of all parties involved during the process. This holds them responsible for putting in the effort to make the process work. When the agreement is signed by the attorneys, it bars them from representing their clients if the process does not work. This holds them liable for working to ensure the success of their clients.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.