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Understanding What Is Collaborative Divorce
Note: If you are facing divorce you are probably feeling a lot of uncertainty. This article takes away the uncertainty about Collaborative Divorce. It is intentionally short and to the point.
In Collaborative Divorce, lawyers and spouses have one goal, the collaborative resolution of all issues-without the threat of trial. This goal is established ahead of time in a contract signed by you, your spouse, and both attorneys.
Collaborative Divorce should not be confused with Divorce Mediation. In Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse each have your own specially trained attorney at your side. It is important to know: not all lawyers are trained and certified to practice Collaborative Divorce. Certification requires completion of an intensive program of study.
Both attorneys and each spouse cooperate in gathering information necessary to resolve disputed issues. Since neither attorney need be concerned about trial, each is free to consider all options for obtaining a satisfactory resolution.
If one party decides to convert to the Adversarial Approach, both attorneys must withdraw, and certain information gathered in collaboration cannot be used in the adversarial process.
Collaborative Divorce is best for parties who trust each other and prefer to have an experienced divorce lawyer advocating for their interests.
Collaborative Divorce is often the least expensive approach to achieving resolution since court appearances and delays common to Adversarial Divorce or Divorce Mediation are avoided.
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The Massachusetts courts can order child support payments made by either spouse, and it uses child support guidelines that take into consideration each party's income and the number of children for whom support is to be paid. Courts may deviate from the guidelines if a party shows paying any amount would be too burdensome.
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